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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 12 Hansard (16 November) . . Page.. 3530 ..


Scrutiny Report No. 14 of 1999 and Statement

MR OSBORNE: I present Scrutiny Report No. 14 of 1999 of the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety performing the duties of a scrutiny of Bills and subordinate legislation committee. I seek leave to make a brief statement on the report.

Leave granted.

MR OSBORNE: Scrutiny Report No. 14 of 1999 was circulated when the Assembly was not sitting, on 8 November 1999, pursuant to the resolution of appointment of 28 April 1998. I commend the report to the Assembly. Before I sit down, our legal adviser identified a number of major concerns with the motor traffic legislation. I do not have a copy of the report in front of me. It is quite detailed and there are some glaring problems which I hope the Minister will look at. We look forward to his response.

MR KAINE: The chair of the committee has noted that there are some fairly weighty matters raised in this scrutiny of Bills committee report. While he chose not to identify them, I think it would be useful to do so.

MR SPEAKER: I am sorry to interrupt you, Mr Kaine. Is leave granted for Mr Kaine to speak?

Leave granted.

MR KAINE: There are one or two matters that I wish to raise which are quite significant, and which deserve specific mention. I think this will require the Minister to have a look at the legislation, particularly in view of the fact that he is seeking, unless circumstances intervene, to debate these Bills next Thursday. I think the import of the scrutiny of Bills committee report is that there might need to be some rewriting of this legislation before it is enacted. The first matter is becoming quite common. It has to do with the Henry VIII clauses. There is a particularly unpleasant one in this legislation. To quote our legal adviser: "This is a very extensive Henry VIII clause". It is not just an ordinary Henry VIII clause which, for some reason, in modern legislation we tend to overlook the import of.

He notes also that the explanatory memorandum does not attempt to justify this very broad Henry VIII power. I think it is one that I would have great difficulty with, even though somewhat of a convention is emerging to ignore these things. This is a particularly obvious case that I think the Minister should have a look at.

A rather more significant matter is the question of taxation by subordinate law, because that is what this Bill, the Road Transport (General) Bill 1999, does. Of particular concern is clause 96, subclause (6), because there is no doubt that what is dealt with in this legislation amounts to a tax. Not only is it a tax which we would not normally empower

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