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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 7 Hansard (18 June) . . Page.. 1789 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

ACTEW Corporation Ltd became an agency by specific amendment of the FOI Act. The effect of this Bill is 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 and subsidiaries will be under the coverage of the FOI Act. The Legislative Assembly, of course, has before it the Betting (Corporatisation) (Consequential Amendments) Bill 1986, which, if passed, will make ACTTAB a Territory-owned corporation. It is, however, recognised that Territory-owned corporations and their subsidiaries should not be unduly disadvantaged in relation to their private sector counterparts and, to this end, these bodies will be exempt from the operation of the FOI Act in respect of documents relating to their competitive commercial activities. The Assembly recently passed the Ombudsman (Amendment) Act 1996, which, among other things, brought Territory-owned corporations and their subsidiaries within the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman.

Thirdly, the Bill will increase review rights in respect of some decisions in relation to the fees and charges payable. One of the recommendations of the Report into the Administration of the ACT Leasehold, the Stein report, was that the Act be amended to include a right of internal review in relation to a decision not to waive the application fee or a general decision in relation to charges as well as the specific amounts of charges to be imposed. The Bill will provide for internal review in respect of these decisions and will, in addition, provide the opportunity for a review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of internal review decisions which are unfavourable to a person.

The opportunity has also been taken to include in the Bill some housekeeping amendments. In order for the proposed new reporting arrangements to operate in respect of the 1995-96 reporting period, the Bill should commence as soon as possible, and it is proposed that it be considered by the Assembly in these June sittings. Because of this expedited process, I would be happy to make officers of the Attorney-General's Department available to brief members of the Assembly who require information about aspects of the Bill. I commend the Bill to the Legislative Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Ms Follett) adjourned.


MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (11.00): Mr Speaker, I ask for leave to present the Crimes (Amendment) Bill (No. 2) 1996.

Leave granted.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I present the Crimes (Amendment) Bill (No. 2) 1996 and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.


That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

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