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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (2 July) . . Page.. 2104 ..

MR SPEAKER: Is leave granted?

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I would like to say a few things on advice that I just had. You might wish to comment on it, too.

MR SPEAKER: Go on. Go ahead.

MR BERRY: Is that okay?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, it is.

MR BERRY: Thank you, members, and thank you, Mr Speaker. I spoke to Mr Rugendyke about this a moment ago and he is worried about the politics that he thinks are being played in relation to this.

Ms Carnell: We are not trying to.

MR BERRY: Well, there are politics involved in this. We have a policy in my party of being concerned about the rights of individuals and we exercise political intuition in relation to our behaviour in this place. We want to protect the rights of people when we are concerned about them. I will go to the advice that was given to you. It is your advice. It talks about the sections which you seek to strike out of the legislation. One of those is, on my reading of it, section 57(4). It says:

Neither section 57(4) nor section 57(1) are expressed to depend for their operation upon a person applying within a certain period of time. These provisions can be contrasted with section 57(3)(b) which does impose a time limit.

The advice goes on to say:

It would be reasonable to assume that if the legislature intended that section 57(4) would only apply to persons who applied for registration within a certain time period then that section or section 57(1) would clearly say so.

But it does not, you see. Mr Speaker, you might say that that was the intent at the time, but the legislation does not say that. Later, the advice goes on to say:

This means that where a provision is intended to benefit a particular person or class of persons any ambiguity or uncertainty in its interpretation will be resolved in favour of the intended beneficiary.

That is, the applicant. It goes on to say, Mr Speaker, and I think this is important:

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