Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 26 June 2008) . . Page.. 2028 ..
and including further technical amendments in other amending legislation, where appropriate.
Statute law amendment bills serve the important purpose of improving the overall quality of the ACT statute book so that our laws are kept up to date and are easier to find, read and understand. A well maintained statute book significantly enhances access to ACT legislation, and it is a very practical measure to give effect to the principle that members of the community have a right to know the laws that affect them.
The enhancement of the ACT statute book through the technical amendments program is also a process of modernisation. For example, laws need to be kept up to date to reflect ongoing technological and societal change. Also, as the ACT statute book has been created from various jurisdictional sources over a long period, it reflects the various drafting practices, language usage, printing formats and styles used throughout the years. It is important to maintain a minimum level of consistency in presentation and cohesion between legislation coming from different sources at different times so that better access to, and understanding of, the law is achieved.
This statute law amendment bill deals with three kinds of matters. Schedule 1 provides for minor, non-controversial amendments proposed by government agencies. Schedule 2 contains amendments to the Legislation Act 2001 proposed by the parliamentary counsel to ensure that the overall structure of the statute book is cohesive and consistent and is developed to reflect best practice. Schedule 3 contains technical amendments proposed by the parliamentary counsel to correct minor typographical or clerical errors, improve language, omit redundant provisions and include explanatory notes or otherwise update or improve the form of legislation in line with current legislative drafting practice. Statute law amendment bills may also include a fourth schedule that repeals redundant legislation. However, a fourth schedule is not included in this bill.
The bill contains a large number of minor amendments with detailed explanatory notes, so it is not useful for me to go through them now. However, I would like to briefly mention several matters. Schedule 1 contains amendments to the Animal Diseases Act 2005, the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003, the Government Procurement Act 2001 and the Legal Profession Act 2006.
The amendment to the Animal Diseases Act revises section 21 (e) to make it clear that a quarantine declaration under section 19 or section 20 of the act does not need to include anything about restrictions on sale if there are no restrictions on sale.
Section 9 (3) of the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act establishes a perpetual care trust for the maintenance of cemeteries and crematoria and any other purpose approved by the minister. The first amendment substitutes section 9 (3) (b) to make it clear that only charitable purposes may be approved by the minister. The second amendment of the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act inserts a new section 16C to provide for the distribution of assets on the dissolution of a perpetual care trust. New section 16C also provides that if another perpetual care trust or fund is established in place of the dissolved trust, the trust or fund must be established for a charitable purpose and endorsed as exempt from income tax under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 of the commonwealth.