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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 622 ..

MR KAINE (continuing):

When Ms Tucker explained the intent along those lines, I was happy then to accept it. First of all, people would hardly lodge an appeal unless they suspected that they had good reason to do so. Then a judicial officer has to make a judgment whether those are reasonable grounds for the objection. So it would seem to me that it does not matter too much if they do appear to be a withdrawal because it is not an automatic thing and it has to be done by the decision of a judicial officer. So I accepted that and I now support Ms Tucker's amendment.

MS TUCKER (4.46): Mr Speaker, I will speak briefly. I understand what the government's concerns are although I do not necessarily think it is necessary to delete the words. As Mr Kaine said, if it was unreasonable then it would not be supported and it would be ruled out anyway by the court. Basically, it is just about transparency. There could be an indirect connection with the property market that was of interest. It is just a matter of keeping it broad. We think the process is there to ensure that it will not be misused. Members can support the government's amendment if they want to but I personally do not have a problem with what we have in our amendment.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General) (4.47): Whilst it is probably true that the matter could be looked at by a court, I think it is preferable to take the words out. If we can end up with clearer legislation, we should. I think that will ultimately assist a court. I am concerned about disqualifying too broad a range of valuers. Mr Speaker, it is simply safer, given all the circumstances, to take the words out. As I said, we do not have any problems with the rest of the amendment but I feel it is safer if the government's amendment is supported.

MS TUCKER: Mr Speaker, I seek leave to speak again to the amendment.

Leave granted.

MS TUCKER: I do not agree that what the minister is suggesting in his amendment makes it clearer. What we have makes it clearer. We are saying, yes, we want to have all the information. So, in fact, by deleting the words it makes it less clear.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General) (4.48): Mr Speaker,

I seek leave to move the amendment.

Leave granted.

MR STEFANIAK: I formally move the amendment circulated in my name [see schedule 1 part 3 at page 685].

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (4.49): After listening intently to the debate, Mr Speaker, I indicate that the Labor Party will support Ms Tucker's amendment and will not support the government's amendment.

Mr Stefaniak's amendment to Ms Tucker's amendment negatived.

Ms Tucker's amendment agreed to.

Clause 57, as amended, agreed to.

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