Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 February 2021) . . Page.. 357 ..
necessary step in our ongoing response to the pandemic. Having regular updates on a monthly basis is important to keep our community up to date with how their community leaders are dealing with the pandemic and acknowledges that things can move quickly in a pandemic. I urge all members in this chamber to support the amendment.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Attorney-General, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Gaming and Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction) (10.49): I rise to support the COVID-19 Emergency Response Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 (No 3). The bill is the latest in a series of bills that the Legislative Assembly has considered to support our response to the COVID-19 pandemic as an Assembly and as a community.
The majority of the provisions of the bill will extend the measures adopted in the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020 and the COVID-19 Emergency Response Legislation Amendment Act 2020. The extension of these measures will ensure that they remain available for the duration of the pandemic. The ongoing availability of these measures will allow the ACT government and its operational areas to respond quickly to changes in the COVID-19 situation in the ACT. It will also allow businesses and community members to engage with government and the justice system in ways that are appropriate in the circumstances.
The Greens support this bill. We think that we are still in a period where there are risks and impacts flowing from the pandemic and the public health emergency declarations. We have seen in recent times that those things can change quickly.
We also recognise that there is some work to be done—and that work is already underway through the course of this year—to look at whether measures that have come in during the pandemic response may become permanent measures or whether some of them should be ended. Across the spectrum of things that have been changed during this period, some have proved to be good changes to practice, whether they are business practice or practices of government agencies and the like. That is a discussion that this Assembly will need to have down the line, but that is not what we are considering today. Today we are considering more the short-term amendments.
The bill will make amendments to a number of measures in three of my portfolios, so I will speak about those measures as part of this discussion. Firstly, in my portfolio as Attorney-General, the bill will amend the Associations Incorporation Act; the Bail Act; the Crimes Act; the Crimes (Sentencing) Act; the Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act; the Family Violence Act; the Personal Violence Act; and the Supreme Court Act. The bill will also amend measures in the Retirement Villages Act, which falls within my portfolio as the Minister for Consumer Affairs. Lastly, the bill will make a technical amendment to a measure in the Gaming Machine Regulation, which sits within my portfolio as the Minister for Gaming. I would like to provide the Assembly with a little more detail about these amendments.
A COVID-19 measure in the Associations Incorporation Act authorises the general meetings and special general meetings of an association to be held using alternative methods of communication and allows the use of proxy arrangements. This measure is