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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 April 2021) . . Page.. 819 ..

Statute Law Amendment Bill 2021

Mr Rattenbury, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Attorney-General, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Gaming and Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction) (11.03): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Statute Law Amendment Bill 2021 makes statute law revision amendments to ACT legislation under guidelines for the technical amendments program approved by the government. The program provides for amendments that are minor or technical, and non-controversial. They are generally insufficiently important to justify the presentation of separate legislation in each case and are inappropriate to make as editorial amendments in the process of republishing legislation under the Legislation Act 2001.

Statute law amendment bills serve the important purpose of improving the overall quality of the ACT statute book so that our laws are kept up to date and are easier to find, read and understand. A well-maintained statute book greatly enhances access to ACT legislation and is a very practical measure to give effect to the principle that members of the community have a right to know the laws that affect them.

The bill contains a number of minor amendments with detailed explanatory notes so it is not necessarily helpful for me to go through them all now. However, I will take the opportunity to briefly mention a few matters. Schedule 1 amends the Controlled Sports Act 2019 section 86 to include the controlled sports registrar as someone who may be informed or advised about controlled sports issues by an advisory committee. Currently only the minister may be informed or advised as such. However, it would be useful for any advisory committee to also be able to inform or advise the controlled sports registrar as the registrar is responsible for exercising many of the functions under the act.

Schedule 1 also amends the Mental Health Act 2015, section 190(1)(h), to include a registered affected person as someone who may appear and give evidence at the hearing of certain proceedings before the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal. The provision was recently amended by the Mental Health Amendment Act 2020 to give the Victims of Crime Commissioner the right to appear and give evidence in proceedings relating to a mental health order, a forensic mental health order, or a review of detention under a court order in respect of which there is a registered affected person. However, the right to appear and give evidence in the same proceedings was not extended to the registered affected person. This was an inadvertent omission from the Mental Health Amendment Bill 2020 and this amendment will correct it.

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