Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 10 April 2008) . . Page.. 1336 ..
revere far more than the previous government. Again, they are cheap words in opposition, but not the sort of thing that the Chief Minister ever carries through or honours.
DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (5.30): There is nothing controversial in this bill except perhaps the fact that it is retrospective, as is remarked upon by the scrutiny of bills committee. Again I have just—
Mr Smyth: We don’t know that.
DR FOSKEY: Being on the committee, I do know. I guess I am privileged in that way, because I actually know what the scrutiny of bills committee said about this legislation. It found that there was nothing of concern except, it reiterated, the retrospectivity of legislation. This is something that should be avoided at all costs. I understand that sometimes it is not avoidable, for various reasons, but one would not like to think that one reason was that the government was behind the eight ball.
Anyway, as I said, it is uncontroversial; it is essential that it be passed. I do not believe that when it was tabled on Tuesday we were told that it was going to be debated on Thursday. This does happen rather too often. It is fortunate that in this case it seems to be a bill that nobody could oppose.
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, Minister for the Arts) (5.32): I thank members for their contributions. This is retrospective legislation; it is retrospective legislation to deal with a mistake. It is regrettable, but mistakes happen. A mistake occurred in the drafting in this particular case—a human error, a simple mistake, a mistake that was not detected. Retrospective legislation is required to appropriately deal with the issue—the product for which the water abstraction charge was paid and only water was delivered and consumed. It is not as if there was not a service provided for the fee that was not collected; it was. It is appropriate that there be retrospective legislation in this particular instance. As regrettable as any mistake is, this was a very simple, straightforward human error, which of course is regretted. This very simple, non-controversial legislation is required to deal with a small, minor, human error.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.
Bill agreed to.
Education, Training and Young People—Standing Committee
MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (5.34): I present the following report: