Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 August 2010) . . Page.. 3444 ..
territory law but to commonwealth laws operating in the territory. I commend the amendments to members of the Assembly.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (5.54): The government will support these amendments to proposed new section 29. Section 29 is a secrecy provision that protects information provided to the commissioner in relation to the act and the proper use of that information.
Section 29(1) creates an offence for the improper recording or disclosure of protected information. An offence is not committed, however, if the record was made, or the information was divulged under this act or another territory law, or in relation to the exercise of a function under this act or another territory law.
The concept of territory law embraces an act of the Legislative Assembly but not an act of the commonwealth parliament. Therefore, changing the phrase “territory law” to “law applying in the territory” will fix this apparent anomaly.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (5.55): With regard to those two amendments and also amendment No 5 of Mrs Dunne, which she will move shortly, the Greens will be supporting them. Both Mrs Dunne and the attorney have outlined the reasons. Obviously it is an important clarification here to ensure that there is clarity of a law enforced in the ACT as opposed to simply an ACT law. It is a sensible amendment that greatly reduces the potential for confusion in the courts and in the office of the commissioner. The Greens will be supporting this group of amendments.
Amendments agreed to.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (5.57): Pursuant to standing order 182A(c), I move my amendment No 1 relating to clause 14 as it is in response to comments made by the scrutiny committee [see schedule 3 at page 3451].
The scrutiny committee in its report No 25 suggested an amendment to address the issue of a possible conflict with the principle that in a trial all relevant evidence is admissible, a principle which may be seen as a component of the right to a fair trial under section 21(1) of the Human Rights Act.
The government amendment I move today adjusts the wording of subsection 29(4) to reflect the intention of the amendment and correct a possible inconsistency with the Human Rights Act. The commonwealth Evidence Act 1995 is in force in the ACT but it does not apply where there is an inconsistent territory law.
In relation to the provision of protected information to a court, subsection 29(4), as drafted, could have been inconsistent with the Evidence Act as it would not have fallen within the words “unless it is necessary to do so for this act or another territory law”. This is not intended. As I have stated previously in relation to the opposition’s