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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (2 July) . . Page.. 2098 ..


Debate resumed from 1 July 1999, on motion by Mr Moore:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR BERRY (11.09): Mr Speaker, this matter was also raised in the report this morning from the scrutiny of Bills committee. Again I apologise for Mr Stanhope's absence. He has been unavoidably taken away from his duties. Mr Speaker, the Psychologists Act is referred to in the report, and I should refer to the committee's comment on paragraph 2 (c) (i). It said:

The effect of the proposed new section 58 of the Act would be to terminate applications to the Psychologists Board by persons seeking registration, and also to terminate applications for review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of decisions of the Board.

These provisions have the potential to retrospectively deprive a person of an accrued right to make these kinds of applications. They do thus involve a retrospective deprivation of a legal right, and there may well be persons who will be affected adversely by these provisions.

The Committee draws this matter to the attention of the Assembly. It is suggested that in any case where a provision of a Bill does have retrospective effect in the manner of this Bill, that the matter is drawn to the attention of the Assembly in the Explanatory Memorandum.

Mr Speaker, that rings alarm bells for me. I hope Mr Humphries does not climb to his feet and try to draw some comparison between this retrospective attempt and the retrospective legislation which attempts to fix up the mess as a result of the Bruce Stadium financing arrangements. That would be a long bow, but we are prepared to debate it if you want to. Mr Speaker, we are reluctant at this point to pass this Bill because of the comments which have arisen this morning from the scrutiny of Bills committee. We will be seeking to adjourn debate on this Bill shortly.

Mr Humphries: For how long?

MR BERRY: I said to Mr Moore that if he can convince Mr Stanhope's office that we ought to proceed, we are prepared to deal with it today. We were handed a rather bulky set of legal advisings just this morning which we have not been able to properly consider. I think it would be fair that we be given time to consider those advisings and any further advice from Mr Moore. We understand that there are a number of applications before the board which bring into play those comments of the scrutiny of Bills committee in relation to undue trespass on personal rights and liberties because of the retrospective nature of the legislation. The number is in dispute, but it could be as many as six. It may be fewer.

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