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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 October 2018) . . Page.. 4461 ..


It includes a number of minor amendments introduced by ACT government directorates and agencies, some of which are worth highlighting and emphasising, as Mr Hanson did. Among them are amendments that reflect the growing role of the Ombudsman. Changes to the Ombudsman Act 1989 enable the Ombudsman to delegate functions to a member of their staff including, naturally, the Deputy Ombudsman.

These amendments also allow the Ombudsman to enter into arrangements with the Head of Service so they can use the services of public servants, consultants and contractors. This is a pretty sensible change, as the functions of the Ombudsman under ACT law have expanded over the past few years. This expansion is a result of amendments made to the Ombudsman Act 1989, including the introduction of the reportable conduct scheme as well as the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act 2016.

The bill also impacts on public servants. One subsection of the Public Service Management Act 1994 enables a public sector employee to delegate certain functions to a staff member, officer or employee or the Head of Service. Now an amendment will allow a public sector employee to also delegate to an SES member, including a director-general or executive, if needed. This is another pretty sensible change, enabling certain office holders the appropriate management powers to carry out their work where they previously were not able to. The public service is working more collaboratively across different levels and agencies and it is important that our statute law be updated to reflect this.

The Statute Law Amendment Bill 2018 also includes amendments that impact on the University of Canberra, specifically the university’s council, which is the institution’s governing authority. Amendments of the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1995 and the University of Canberra Act 1989 shift the responsibility for determining the payment, allowances and entitlements of council members away from the Remuneration Tribunal. Why is this important? It is because the conditions of a council member’s appointment should be agreed simply between the executive and the member, subject to a resolution of council. If no resolution is passed, that is when it is appropriate for the Remuneration Tribunal to step in. It is a simple process.

The Statute Law Amendment Bill 2018 also enables us to adapt to broader changes. Amendments within the Workers Compensation Act 1951 will enable us to clearly state how long injured workers of pension age or older are entitled to receive weekly compensation as we move from a system based on a pension age of 65 years to a variable pension age.

The area of health is not immune from a series of changes either. A number of acts need to be amended to reflect the new regulatory scheme for nurse practitioners under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (ACT). As a result of the new scheme a number of terms have become obsolete. Fans of concise text might be glad to discover a switch from the term “authorised nurse practitioner” to the much simpler “nurse practitioner”. The Statute Law Amendment Bill 2018 also repeals the Health Regulation 2004 which dealt with the positions and scopes of practice for nurse


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