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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 1428 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

Mr Speaker, on 9 December 1997, this Assembly passed the Administration (Interstate Agreements) Bill 1997. The principal Bill was introduced into the Assembly as a private members Bill by Mr Michael Moore, MLA, on 5 November 1997. The Government supports this Act. As part of our commitment to this legislation, the Government has chosen to complete a review of the Act, not to alter in any way its intent, but to address any matters of legal efficacy.

The Administration (Interstate Agreements) (Amendment) Bill 1998 provides for some minor technical amendments of the Act and for the restatement of other key sections of the Act. The Bill proposes to amend the long title of the Act to ensure consistency with its provisions and to amend the heading to Part II for a similar reason. It also proposes a minor amendment to the object of the Act to give additional efficacy to the object section by requiring courts to interpret the Act as a whole by having regard to its expressed object. The Bill proposes to replace the definition of "negotiation". The new definition simply states that for the purposes of this legislation a negotiation is "between a Minister and another Government or its representative". The definition in the Bill provides a very clear and concisely expressed statement and remains consistent with the intent of the Act.

The Bill also proposes to substitute section 6 of the Act about "Notification of negotiations" and to substitute section 7 about "Consultation regarding agreements". The new "Notification of negotiations" section seeks to remove the mixed tenses in this section of the Act and require the Minister to notify members as soon as practicable about the commencement of negotiations or proposed negotiations. The new "Consultation regarding agreements" section seeks to ensure that a Minister completes the consultative process, if possible, prior to the beginning of negotiations.

These proposed amendments do not alter the purpose of the Act. The Bill seeks to strengthen the technical aspects of the legislation and to bind the Executive to its obligations under the Act. I commend the Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Quinlan) adjourned.

Alteration to Reporting Date

MR HIRD (10.54): Mr Speaker, I move:

That the resolution of the Assembly of 25 June 1998 referring the exposure draft of the Environment Protection (Amendment) legislation to the Standing Committee on Urban Services for inquiry and report be amended by omitting "1 September 1998" and substituting "22 September 1998".

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