Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 10 April 2018) . . Page.. 1157 ..
Following questions from the office of Miss Candice Burch and from my office on this, the Attorney-General’s office replied:
This is to ensure that they—
can be adequately prepared with supporting materials to the Legislative Assembly.
Firstly, 20 sitting days is a surprisingly long time to prepare regulations that have been passed through other jurisdictions. More importantly, it appears that this is actually not the real reason for those changes. The real reason was uncovered and noted in the scrutiny report. The scrutiny report explains that the last set of amended regulations:
… were not tabled in the Assembly within six sitting days of their publication on the NSW legislation website. They were therefore repealed from the sixth sitting day after their publication. They no longer had effect from the date of their repeal, and any amendments they made to the previous version of regulations were reversed.
In short, this is a fix-up for a mistake the directorate has already made that has left the ACT in a legal limbo. It appears that the advice that was then provided to my office when we questioned this did not explain that, did not go through the full details of why this fix-up was being made. That was uncovered in the scrutiny report. It is disappointing that that is the case, that the minister’s office was not more up-front in an explanation of why this fix-up was being made. Well done to the scrutiny committee for picking this up. It seems that right now the ACT is not aligned with national regulations. This change, 20 sitting days, is required to fix an error made 20 sitting days ago. If we had waited till the next sitting day, the amendment would have no doubt read 23 sitting days.
This is poor administration whichever way you look at it and it is poor lawmaking. And for users of heavy vehicles in the territory, and indeed for this Assembly, to be kept in the dark for six months, is not good governance.
As I stated at the beginning of this speech, we are noticing more and more of these fix-ups coming into this place. We will not oppose them, obviously. We will not stand in the way of laws that have been poorly drafted or incorrectly drafted or where mistakes made by this government are being fixed up. But these continual changes for no other reason than laws not being complied with is at best sloppy and at worst negligent.
We will support this bill today. We will support the fix-ups. But I must say that this is not good. This does not reflect well upon this government or the ministers responsible. I call on this government and the ministers responsible to lift their game.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety, Minister for Corrections and