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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (8 March) . . Page.. 837 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

One of the main effects of the Commonwealth amendments is to confer federal jurisdiction on federal courts to review the decisions of Commonwealth officers and bodies made in the performance of functions conferred on them by specified state and territory laws. Until the decision in Re Wakim, federal courts exercised state jurisdiction to review such decisions.

The Commonwealth Jurisdiction of Courts Legislation Amendment Act 2000 treats the ACT and the Northern Territory as if they were states for some purposes in order to achieve consistency of treatment across Australia. This is the case in relation to the National Crime Authority legislation. As a result a number of changes are needed to the ACT National Crime Authority Act.

The amendments are technical in nature. They pick up on changes made by the Commonwealth to its corresponding legislation and make adjustments necessary to deal with the collapse of the cross-vesting scheme. Similar changes have been made or are being planned by the Northern Territory and the states.

The ACT has made a commitment to these national legislative schemes that serve such a useful purpose. To support that commitment, we must make the amendments set out in this bill in order to keep the schemes operating.

There are some other amendments contained in this bill. They are minor changes to alter the style of the acts being amended. As part of a process of updating all ACT legislation, amendments to change the style are being drafted each time other amendments are to be made to an act. The new style is designed to be easy to read, more user friendly and in clearer language. The Competition Policy Reform Act 1996, the Gas Pipelines Access Act 1998, the Jurisdiction of Courts (Cross-vesting) Act 1993 and the National Crime Authority (Territory Provisions) Act 1991 will all appear more modern as a result of the drafting changes in this bill.

I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stanhope ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Legislative Assembly (Legal Assistance) Bill 2001

Mr Stefaniak, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General) (11.14): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Legislative Assembly (Legal Assistance) Bill 2001 provides for legal assistance to be made available to members and ministers for the defence of proceedings arising out of things done by the member as part of his or her duty as a member or, if the member is also a minister, his or her duty as a minister.

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