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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (28 May) . . Page.. 683 ..

Thursday, 28 May 1998


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.


MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (10.31): Mr Speaker, I present the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition (Amendment) Bill 1998, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

The purpose of the Bill is to amend the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997 that was passed by the Assembly last July. The Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement was signed by the Commonwealth, the States and the Territories on 14 June 1996 and by New Zealand on 9 July 1996. The purpose of the arrangement is to give effect to a scheme implementing mutual recognition principles amongst the parties relating to the sale of goods and the registration of occupations, consistent with the protection of public health and safety, and the environment. The principal Act passed by the Legislative Assembly last year requested the Commonwealth to enact legislation for the purpose of implementing the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement. The ACT's Act included the Commonwealth's template legislation in a schedule to the legislation. However, since the passage of the ACT legislation last year, the Commonwealth Bill has been amended. The Bill I have presented today reflects the amendments that were made to the Commonwealth Bill and passed by the Commonwealth Parliament.

The amendments ensure that the intent of the arrangement is preserved in the following ways: Schedule 1 to the Commonwealth Bill annexed to the principal Act sets out a list of laws which are excluded from the Act. The amendments allow participating jurisdictions, including the Commonwealth, to remove, or reduce the extent of, their own legislation from the list without the need to seek agreement from other participants. Schedule 3 of the Commonwealth Bill annexed to the principal Act is a list of special exemptions from the Act. The amendments allow participants to change a specially exempt law to a permanent exemption or to add to the list of special exemptions with the agreement of two-thirds of other participants, rather than unanimous consent, as currently

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