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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 2670 ..

MR CONNOLLY (continuing):

which takes a different view. Legislative amendment is necessary, and this is the quickest and easiest way of doing it. Given that the purpose of a Statute Law Revision Bill is to fix up minor grammatical and typographical errors and consequential errors, and given that Mr Humphries's amendment clearly falls within the scope of the short title of this Bill, the Opposition is inclined to support it.

MR MOORE (4.06): Mr Speaker, I think one of the things that we have to be concerned about in dealing with this sort of issue is the short time that we have had to deal with this particular Bill. It is only a little over a week that we have had to look at this piece of legislation tabled in November.

Mr Humphries: But you agreed to bring it on.

MR MOORE: Indeed. As a rule, we ought not to work that way. In fact, it was in a couple of pieces of legislation of this kind on previous occasions that we found some anomalies that did not really fit into the intention of this sort of legislation. I have been able to go through this Bill only quickly, but I believe that it does exactly what Mr Humphries, in his introductory speech, said it does. It is a matter of fixing up a few anomalies, sexist language and those sorts of issues. I think there is general agreement within the Assembly that those things ought to be done, and we would expect to see this style of legislation coming in fairly regularly.

Mr Humphries, a little while ago, interjected to the effect, "You agreed to bring it on". Mr Speaker, I was not able to be at the Government business meeting the other day. In those meetings we are presented with a series of pieces of legislation relating to what the Government intends to do, and we either agree or disagree at the time. Because I was not aware that this was coming on and I thought it would be unlikely that we would bring on legislation that had been presented only a week or so earlier, I did not give instructions on how to deal with it. However, had I had a major problem with it, I am sure that Mr Humphries and other members would have agreed to adjourn it for some time. I accept that.

I think that we should still follow the general rule that such legislation ought be allowed to sit for a reasonable time period so that we can examine it more closely than we get the opportunity to do in a short week, especially when there are at least three pieces of legislation that fit into that category, as there are this sitting. There is not only this one but also the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) (Enforcement) Bill and the Bill amending the Crimes Act. Mr Speaker, I think that we have here another one of those pieces of legislation that, by and large, we agree to in principle. I am prepared to support this legislation at this time.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (4.09), in reply: Mr Speaker, I thank members for their support for the Bill. Let me comment about the two contributions. Mr Connolly remarked that this was an annual Bill. Yes, it has been the case in the past that we have had an annual Bill available to deal with in this way, although I hope that this may be the last Bill of this kind that we have to deal with. The Government is examining reprints legislation of the kind used in Queensland, which effectively means that mechanical, typographical or stylistic changes can be dealt with by way of a printer's correction rather than by amendments on the floor of the house. My advice is that that system has operated

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