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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (28 May) . . Page.. 699 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

On 14 March last year, a formal decision was made by the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General - excluding South Australia, which already recognised New Zealand orders - to amend legislation relating to the portability of restraining orders to allow for recognition and enforcement of New Zealand orders. This Bill fulfils the undertaking given at the SCAG meeting by this Territory.

This Bill uses the terms "recognised court" and "recognised order", which are defined as including an order made under New Zealand law. The Bill enables victims who have obtained a protective order in New Zealand to be protected in the Australian Capital Territory. A New Zealand order can be registered in the Territory by filing a certified copy of the order in the ACT Magistrates Court. The effect of the registration is that it allows New Zealand orders, and any other foreign protection order that may be recognised by the Territory, to be enforced, varied, cancelled and extended as if they were protection orders made under our legislation on the date of registration.

New Zealand domestic violence legislation already makes provision for the enforcement, in New Zealand, of final orders made in Australia or any State or Territory of Australia. It is, therefore, important that Australian jurisdictions reciprocate this and enable the registration of New Zealand orders in Australia, particularly given the extent of movement of individuals across the Tasman. I commend the Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stanhope) adjourned.


MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (11.26): Mr Speaker, I present the Gas Pipelines Access Bill 1998, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR SMYTH: I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, the package of gas reform legislation, comprising the Gas Pipelines Access Bill 1998 and the Gas Supply Bill 1998, marks the high point in reforms of the gas industry in the ACT. In 1980, the gas industry commenced operating as a franchise business in the ACT, with no regulatory cover, under an agreement with the former Commonwealth administration. At this stage, I would like to point out that Australian Gas Light, or AGL, has been the sole operator and supplier of gas in the ACT and New South Wales and that AGL is a private business.

With the advent of self-government for the ACT, a review recommended that the gas industry be regulated in a manner similar to New South Wales, with both legislative cover and a gas industry-specific regulator. Initially, the Gas Levy Act 1991 was passed by the Assembly to enable the ACT Government to apply a franchise levy on the gas distributor.

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