Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 3 December 2020 2020) . . Page.. 125 ..
These measures will reduce the potential for financial abuse of a principal under an enduring power of attorney, provide the Public Trustee and Guardian the continued ability to enforce the rights of protected persons, and assist the Public Trustee and Guardian to conduct its statutory functions without impediments.
It is important to note that the bill further improves the administration and operation of the territory’s laws by updating unclear and outdated references and provisions. An example of this is the amendments to the Administration and Probate Act 1929. The bill updates an archaic reference to and confusion about the term “Ordinary in England” when describing the Public Trustee and Guardian’s functions and obligations in the administration of intestate estates.
The amendments also allow an intestate estate to vest absolutely in people who are both unmarried and under the age of 18. The amendments to the Administration and Probate Act bring this outdated law into line with contemporary community standards, engaging and promoting the right to equality and non-discrimination.
This bill contains a number of amendments which clarify or ensure the efficiencies in the financial operations of government and community organisations. The bill makes amendments to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2008 and ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Regulation 2009 which will clarify the operation of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Trust and its related processes. This fund is currently used for a range of important purposes, including the administration of the ACAT.
The amendment to the Associations Incorporation Act 1991 streamlines the financial operations of small incorporated associations in the territory. The amendment today reverses the unintended consequence introduced by the Red Tape Reduction Legislation Amendment Act 2018. This means that members can review their association’s statement of accounts where the associations are not registered under the Commonwealth’s Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012. This removes any added cost and inconvenience to small incorporated associations to comply with the provision in the territory.
The bill also makes improvements to the laws applying to government and the legal profession. The amendments to the Legislation Act 2001 and the Public Sector Management Act 1994 strengthen oversight over the regulation-making powers of the territory’s executive. The amendments now require that a statutory instrument may only be taken to be signed by the executive where it is signed by both the Chief Minister and the relevant minister. The consequential amendments also provide options for when the Chief Minister is not available to sign an instrument in specific circumstances.
The bill also amends the Legal Profession Act 2006 to improve the regulation of the legal profession in the territory. It will now require legal practitioners holding or applying for a practising certificate or persons seeking admission to the legal profession to disclose whether they are or were a director of an incorporated legal practice under external administration. Relevant legal authorities must also consider