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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 11 Hansard (14 November) . . Page.. 3407..


Legal Affairs-Standing Committee

Statement by Chair

MR SESELJA (Molonglo): Pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs. In the Fifth Assembly, the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs undertook an inquiry into legislation amending the Victims of Crime Act 1994. In its report, the committee recommended against the legislation proceeding, recommending in its stead that the government undertake a comprehensive review of the victims of crime legislation to ensure that the objectives of the legislation are achieved fairly and efficiently.

During the recent annual report hearings, the committee questioned the Attorney-General and the department on the lack of a response to that report. The Attorney-General advised the committee that the report had been completed before the 2004 election and that the government had not pursued a response to that report and that there was no intention to do so. The committee considers that this is an inadequate response to the committee's recommendations in its report. The issues canvassed in the report go further than the legislative amendments which prompted the inquiry. In fact, the matters canvassed by the committee are still very much a concern for victims of crime.

The committee's recommendations were concerned with a comprehensive review of the legislative arrangements to assist victims of crime by removing inconsistencies in definition, consideration of some anomalies in the legislation and omissions from the legislation, and streamlining of the legislation. The committee also recommended an administrative component to the scheme which would obviate the need for a victim of crime to make their claim in the Supreme Court where that claim was less than $1,000. This kind of administrative procedure saves court time and money.

The committee calls on the government to reconsider the committee's report on this matter and the recommendations contained within. While the legislation was ultimately not proceeded with, the issues canvassed by the committee and the problems with the current system remain and should be dealt with.

Duties Amendment Bill 2006 (No 2)

Debate resumed from 21 September 2006, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (10.44): Mr Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking the Treasurer and his staff for their cooperation in providing a briefing on this bill and making themselves available for follow-up clarification on its details. The Duties Amendment Bill 2006 (No 2) has been introduced by the government to amend the Duties Act 1999 and abolish duties on the hire of goods, leases and unquoted marketable securities. This is in line with the ACT government's commitment to abolish these taxes under the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Reform of Commonwealth-State Financial Relations.

More specifically, the bill makes the following legislative changes: firstly, it amends chapter 6 of the Duties Act 1999 to expire on 30 June 2007, which will abolish the


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