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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 2 Hansard (21 February) . . Page.. 466 ..

Public Accounts-Standing Committee

Statement by chair

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a statement regarding a new inquiry.

Leave granted.

MR SMYTH: At its meeting of 30 January 2002, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts resolved to conduct an inquiry into the priority areas for service delivery in the 2002-2003 ACT budget with the following terms of reference:

Inquire into and report on budget issues and priorities in the 2002-2003 ACT Budget in the areas of:

. Management of the ACT's public finances;

. Matters relating specifically to economic and business development;

. Small business;

. Tourism;

. Market and regulatory reform;

. Public sector management;

. Taxation; and

. Revenue sustainability.

Rehabilitation of Offenders (Interim) Amendment Bill 2002

Debate resumed from 19 February 2002, on motion by Mr Quinlan:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (11.19): Mr Speaker, the opposition will be supporting this bill today since it is of a simply administrative nature, fixing up the difference between "authorised officer" and "authorised official".

The bill does have some degree of retrospectivity to it. We on this side are always cautious about retrospective legislation, but in this area we believe that it is appropriate. I would flag that the opposition is keen to see the bill concerning anthrax scares, which we will discuss later on, made retrospective as well. With that in mind and, given the simple nature of the bill, we will be supportive.

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming and Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Corrections) (11.20), in reply: Thank you, members, for your support of the bill. Yes, it is a matter of correcting an oversight in the framing of the previous bill. It is an oversight that might have had considerable repercussions if the courts had chosen to make particular interpretations of the bill on the basis of any claims that might have been made.

Effectively, it ensures that the ACT parole system can work as it was originally intended to and, from the perspective of the prisoner, it ensures that time served during the intervening period in which the error was on foot will be counted towards the total time each prisoner is required to serve. It also allows for some effectiveness and efficiency

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