Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . . Page.. 3513 ..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
use and to correct a range of errors. The Bill repeals a large number of New South Wales Acts that were in force in the ACT. It is an historical tour de force to some extent, and actually takes us through a history of the legislation that has from time to time applied in New South Wales and in the ACT.
The Bill lists the Acts to be repealed and, indirectly perhaps, makes clear which New South Wales Acts will continue to apply in the Territory. The Bill also repeals several UK laws that still have application in the ACT. It updates some legislation to reflect amended titles and organisation names. The Bill also amends the Interpretation Act to make the English plainer and the legislation easier to use.
As I said earlier, it is a housekeeping Bill, covering a whole range of enactments. It is a device used by governments from time to time to make what are always regarded as minor and technical amendments. We have looked at the Bill and it does seem from our examination that that is the case with this Bill. It is on that basis that the Labor Party has decided to support the Bill. The amendments range over many Acts. With our limited resources, we have not had the time to examine these Bills closely, but there still remains the element of trust that we extend to the Government in relation to omnibus Bills of this sort that the amendments are technical and minor in nature and do not make dramatic changes to the legislation affected.
It is in that context that the Labor Party is happy to support the Bill, which was introduced just a month or so ago. As I say, we accept that the Government, through this omnibus Bill, is only introducing technical and minor amendments. On that basis, we will not oppose it.
MR KAINE (6.03): I, too, support this Bill. It is pleasing to see our list of legislation being tidied up from time to time, and this Bill certainly, does that. In fact, I was most pleased to note that an Act passed in 1849, during the reign of Queen Victoria, which abolished deodands has now been done away with. I was most impressed with that. As they were abolished in New South Wales in 1849, I think it is about time we abolished them here.
MR BERRY (6.04): Mr Speaker, there is much in this legislation, which has been described as an historical tour de force. Some of the Acts that caught my eye are worth mentioning. I refer, firstly, to an Act of parliament passed in the tenth year of the reign of His Majesty King George IV entitled, "An Act for the relief of His Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects". Many of our forebears would have been Roman Catholic subjects and we should be very thankful to George for protecting them, otherwise we may not have been here. In this year of an important matter in relation to the monarchy it does raise the question whether Catholics in Australia still need protection from the monarchy. I think not. I will not say anything more about that debate. There was also "An Act to regulate the temporal affairs of the Religious Societies denominated Wesleyan Methodists Independents and Baptists", so the monarchy was very busy then with all sorts of protections.
I found it very interesting that there was an Act to amend the Scab Act. I thought that that might have something to do with industrial relations and was something I could probably comment on. There were Acts for several railway lines which have long since