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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 8 Hansard (24 August) . . Page.. 2300 ..


Paper and Ministerial Statement

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister): For the information of members, I present the legislation program for the spring sittings 1999. I ask for leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I am pleased to present the Government's legislative program for the spring 1999 session. While the core of the Government's legislation program lies in financial and business legislation, this spring legislation program also demonstrates the Government's commitment to working with other jurisdictions on nationally consistent laws or other national reforms.

The Government will seek the Assembly's agreement to the establishment of the proposed Kingston Foreshore Development Authority to progress this exciting new development. The authority will contribute to the strengthening of the ACT economy through a major strategy to attract business and tourism to our city. The Government will also seek the agreement of the Assembly to an additional appropriation to provide funding to move the ACT Hospice and to stage the V8 supercar event in Canberra, for which we presented a Bill this morning.

A comprehensive and enhanced regulatory framework for utilities in the ACT is being developed. After consultation with a wide range of community groups, the Government will bring forward a package of legislation for consideration by the Assembly late in the spring sittings.

We also propose to introduce several major initiatives to deliver the Government's objective of improving the accessibility and responsiveness of the criminal and civil justice systems to the community. Legislation will be introduced to enable police in the ACT to access the proposed national CrimTrac database. The benefits of this national database have already attracted media attention across Australia. This legislation will provide for taking samples for DNA testing in accordance with recommendations of the Model Criminal Code Officers Committee established by the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General.

Mr Speaker, effective workers compensation is a major concern for this Government. The reform of the Workers' Compensation Act 1951 will provide for fairness and equity to workers as well as affordable premiums for employers. The reforms aim to produce a modern Act which maintains the privately underwritten scheme and enables it to run at competitive market rates.

An important package of legislation will be introduced to implement an agreed national approach to road transport. This is a major national reform initiative. Five Bills will be introduced during the sitting period for members' consideration and passage during the spring sittings, as they will require commencement by the nationally agreed date of 1 December. The Bills are the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Bill, the Road

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