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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 2934 ..

Clause 10

MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister) (6.01): I move:

Page 8, line 8, proposed new section 54A, add the following subsection:

"(4) In the application of this section to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, a reference to the administering Chief Executive shall be read as a reference to the Director of Public Prosecutions.".

Mr Speaker, clause 10 makes sure that the Director of Public Prosecutions can create or abolish executive offices within the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. This simply maintains the existing independence of the DPP.

MS FOLLETT (Leader of the Opposition) (6.01): Mr Speaker, whilst I am not opposed to the amendment that the Chief Minister has moved, I do think it is worth noting that the Government has been most insistent throughout the debate on this legislation that the Assembly meet its timetable. We have seen any number of little dummy spits occur over that very issue. Therefore, I think it is very disappointing that we are seeing, now, amendments coming forward from the Government on their own legislation. These amendments, it seems to me, indicate that the legislation was a very hasty effort in the first place.

It is the case that there was a change in the position put forward by the Government between the time of its initial briefing and the presentation of the legislation, a change which, clearly, was because of an error that had been made initially. Now we have further changes, including one where, I believe, they are trying to cover up for another error. Mr Speaker, had this legislation had the proper time that it needed to be considered, we might have done a great deal better.

What we have had from the Chief Minister by way of explanation of her amendment No. 1 really is a sign of contempt for this Assembly. We have had no explanation of it at all. Similarly, the explanatory memorandum on all three of these amendments by the Government is extremely scant. In fact, in relation to paragraph 3, I believe the explanatory memorandum, because it is so ungrammatical, is virtually incapable of being interpreted. Mr Speaker, I think that the Government should have taken the proper time on this. It ought not to have rushed headlong into it. Had it taken the proper time we would see fewer errors and fewer of these kinds of attempts to cover up for what have been, obviously, omissions.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Carnell) adjourned.

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