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to limit the duration of this particular measure to a period of two years. Accordingly, the amendment which I shall circulate later today will impose a two-year sunset clause on the deeming provisions of the Bill. In the meantime, the Government will be keeping the effectiveness of the deeming provisions under constant review.

Debate (on motion by Mr Connolly) adjourned.




Debate resumed from 22 June 1995, on motion by Mr Humphries:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SPEAKER: Is it the wish of the Assembly to debate this order of the day concurrently with the Consumer Credit (Consequential Provisions) Bill 1995? There being no objection, that course will be followed. I remind members that in debating order of the day No. 1 they may also address their remarks to order of the day No. 2.

MR CONNOLLY (3.56): Mr Speaker, this is a piece of Government legislation that the Opposition has no difficulty in wholeheartedly endorsing. It is the culmination of a very long process, indeed a very long struggle, to achieve uniform credit laws throughout this nation. That process dates back about 12 years. Certainly, for the entire period that I had responsibility for consumer affairs we were on the verge of getting this agreement and we finally got agreement last year. One great problem that emerged in this was the limitations of cooperative federalism. Fortunately, in the ACT we have tended not to get obsessed with States rights, or Territories rights. Many State politicians are quick to criticise the Commonwealth when it legislates in an area that has been traditionally the preserve of the States. I was getting to the point midway through our term of office of saying to the Commonwealth, “Please come and legislate in this area”, because of the frustration that I felt and many consumer advocates around Australia felt at the simple inability of the States and Territories to reach a common position.

The vagaries of the political process are such that it is highly likely that forums of State and Territory Ministers will have a constantly changing composition. Over the last four years, every time an election resulted in a change of government in the States and Territories - and there have been quite a number of those in the States and Territories over recent years, and there are more to come, we would confidently think - there would be a change. The position that had been originally reached, which was seen certainly by the consumer movement as a very progressive uniform credit code, began to be progressively watered down as incoming governments of a conservative persuasion started to baulk at some of the agreements which had previously been reached.

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