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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (19 October) . . Page.. 3333 ..

MR WOOD (6.18): Notwithstanding some reservations about the wording here, the Opposition is inclined to support this amendment. I hear Mr Stefaniak say it is very, very unusual. That may be. I would indicate support on the basis that I do not mind seeing a solid reference there to review what has happened. My reservations go to a tendency of the Greens sometimes to be so very, very specific. That is the reason I have not supported some of their other amendments today. They like to tie things down to the finest detail they can get. I am not sure that is always a necessary thing to do. So subclauses 5(a) to (e) do concern me a little because there is very excessive, detailed requirement placed in that. The Minister said the courts might have a problem with this and I did not understand that.

Mr Stefaniak: Well, the court has got to interpret legislation.

MR WOOD: Just where might the courts come into this? This is a job for the Minister and I do not see where the courts have a role. He might elaborate for me on that issue. Unless he can convince me there, the Opposition will be supporting this.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education) (6.20): This is legislation and the body that interprets legislation is a court of law. It is not a motion, which the Assembly can interpret. This is actually legislation which becomes an Act and which a court would then have to interpret. It is inappropriate as an amendment to an Act. There are other ways for Ms Tucker to achieve the same aim without putting something like this in the legislation. It is quite extraordinary, and there are much better ways of doing it. You would be opening up some amazing precedents. As I pointed out, there are some very significant problems there in terms of what on earth a court, which ultimately is responsible for interpreting and indeed enforcing any breaches of this, would do.

MS TUCKER (6.21): I cannot say definitely whether or not the Minister is correct. I would like time to look at it. I am quite happy to rework this if in fact the Minister is correct so that we still will have a review after 12 months. The specific criteria or terms of reference would be developed, perhaps in consultation with the Standing Committee on Education, or something like that. We can talk about how that could work. To achieve that I would need leave from the Assembly to seek an adjournment of this debate until Thursday so that we could actually work to find a more acceptable approach.

Debate (on motion by Mr Berry ) adjourned.


Motion (by Mr Smyth) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

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