Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 2 Hansard (27 February) . . Page.. 289 ..

Tuesday, 27 February 1996


MR SPEAKER (Mr Cornwell) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.


Debate resumed from 7 December 1995, on motion by Mr Humphries:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MS FOLLETT (Leader of the Opposition) (10.31): Mr Speaker, the Labor Party will be supporting this legislation. It is a sensible refinement of regulatory legislation in regard to legal practitioners. What the Bill does is eliminate inconsistencies and inefficiencies in the law regarding controlled moneys held by solicitors, especially in respect of valuable securities. The Bill also gives clients of those solicitors an enhanced protection when they engage solicitors to undertake control of their funds. In fact, it does refine the procedure that is provided for the regulation of solicitors' trust moneys. As I say, we will support the passage of this legislation. It seems to be a sensible measure, and we will always support sensible refinements of legislation.

MR MOORE (10.32): Mr Speaker, this is indeed, as the Leader of the Opposition said, sensible legislation. The legislation was originally put in place to protect clients' money. This particular amendment deals not so much with clients' money but with securities and other issues that solicitors deal with. The argument put by the Minister in his presentation speech was that there has never been a problem with solicitors interfering with this; as, indeed, we know that there have been problems with solicitors interfering with cash. Perhaps that is because of the complicated nature of this range of issues. But, on the other hand, they do put on solicitors quite a burden. It is that attempt to remove that burden that is the significant part of this legislation.

For that reason, I think it is appropriate for us to support this legislation. At the same time I think it is also incumbent on us to monitor what is going on in terms of solicitors' offices. Should situations arise where it becomes obvious that this is being abused, then I think it would be appropriate for this legislation to be reintroduced. But where we can remove from any section of business any onerous task that does not appear to have any real driving force, then it is appropriate that we do remove that kind of burden. I think that is what this legislation is about.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .