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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 10 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 3197 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

Briefly, as members will see, this recommendation outlines that witnesses should be advised that they are protected by parliamentary privilege in relation to comments that they make before Assembly committees on the day that they give that evidence. This means that they are protected from defamation suit, but it also means that they have a responsibility to give truthful evidence, and that to give false or misleading evidence is a serious matter.

I think that is a fair warning to be given to all witnesses, particularly in light of the incident that this committee was asked to examine. I think, on balance, this was the only conclusion that we could have come up with. But I stress again that it is up to individual members to decide upon what occurred. The committee has been unable to reach such a conclusion.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


Motion (by Mr Berry ) agreed to, with the concurrence of an absolute majority:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent orders of the day Nos 29 and 30, private Members' business relating to the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2000 (No 3) and the Dangerous Goods Amendment Bill 2000, respectively, being called on seriatim.




Debate resumed.

MR SPEAKER: Is it the wish of the Assembly to debate this bill concurrently with the Dangerous Goods Amendment Bill 2000? There being no objection, I remind members that in debating order of the day No 29 they may also address their remarks to order of the day No 30.

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister) (12.50): The government has informally determined a view about this bill and the next bill and therefore what I indicate to the house is merely my view about the way in which these bills would affect the ACT legal system. The government will not support the bills but it will not expressly oppose them either. Hopefully there will not be a division to put that complicated position to the test.

The government's view, or my view, is that this is an extension of the provisions that were previously adopted in other legislation, where there were-first by Mr Berry, I think, in some legislation and then by the government in the Magistrates Court Act-some amendments which provided for an extension of the period during which prosecutions could be brought for a variety of offences. I am aware that there were some

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