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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 12 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 3694 ..

Mr Berry (continuing):

These amendments merely reinstate the rights of LA(MS) Act employees pursuant to Part 3A, which apparently was some oversight. I do not see anything sinister in their not being mentioned in the legislation, but on checking through the relevant legislation and its application under the LA(MS) Act we discovered that there had been this slight oversight. The amendment has been prepared to repair it. I need say no more than that, Mr Speaker.

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister) (11.50): As we received these amendments only this morning - and I have to say very recently - it was important for us to have a very quick look at what these particular amendments do. My advice is that the best estimate of the number of staff employed under the LA(MS) Act that would be eligible for reintegration into the Public Service and therefore covered by this approach is two people. My understanding is that it would cover people who are currently public servants but who are on secondment in members' offices and therefore could be reintegrated back into the Public Service. It is those people that we are talking about here. The Government's view is that these amendments were not necessary, but we have no strong objection to the inclusion of the proposed amendments. Therefore, we will be supporting them.

Amendments agreed to.

Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.


Debate resumed from 14 October 1999, on motion by Mr Humphries:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (11.51): The Crimes Amendment Bill (No. 2) was a response to a recent case in the ACT that drew attention to the ancient Common Law presumption of marital coercion which still exists in the ACT. The presumption of marital coercion allows that, where a woman commits an offence in the company of her husband, she is entitled to an acquittal unless the Crown can prove she acted independently. I think that provision resulted in a woman's acquittal in a particular case. As the Attorney-General noted in his presentation speech, this is an archaic and extremely sexist notion - one which every other jurisdiction in Australia has abolished. I think it is notable that New South Wales abolished the presumption as long ago as 1925. The Opposition supports the Bill.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

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