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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 3 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 814 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

the deceased; any payments to the applicant or the deceased by the other person in respect of the maintenance of the other person or a child of the other person; and any other matters the court considers relevant. These criteria are a combination of the criteria in the corresponding New South Wales legislation and the criteria applied by the court on an application under the Domestic Relationships Act 1994 for a property order.

A number of technical amendments to the Act are also made in the Bill, and the opportunity has been taken to correct a number of gender specific references. I commend the Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Ms Follett) adjourned.


MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (3.29): Mr Speaker, I ask for leave of the Assembly to amend the notice for this Bill by adding "and for related purposes".

Leave granted.

MR HUMPHRIES: I thank members. I present the Ombudsman (Amendment) Bill 1996, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

The Ombudsman Act 1989 establishes the office of Ombudsman and enables the Ombudsman to investigate complaints about action that relates to a matter of administration taken by a department or a prescribed authority. The office of Ombudsman provides the community with a most important means of having a complaint investigated independently of the agency about which the complaint relates.

The Ombudsman (Amendment) Bill 1996 will amend the Ombudsman Act in three significant ways. Firstly, the Bill will ensure that the Ombudsman has a jurisdiction to investigate complaints about the administrative actions of bodies which become Territory-owned corporations and their subsidiaries by ensuring that the act of corporatising a public body does not mean that that body ceases to be an agency for the purposes of the Ombudsman Act. At present, incorporated companies and associations are not agencies, although such bodies over which the Territory is in a position to exercise control may be brought within jurisdiction by regulation. ACTEW Corporation Ltd became an agency by specific amendment of the Act, and this amendment will mean that ACTEW Corporation Ltd, Totalcare Industries Ltd - the only other Territory-owned corporation at the present time - and any Territory-owned corporations created in the future will be under the coverage of the Ombudsman Act.

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