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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 6 Hansard (16 May) . . Page.. 1691 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

Section 12 of the Coroners Act is repealed, and the substituted section is inserted as detailed in clause 43 of the bill. This amendment has the effect of widening a coroner's powers so that he or she has the power to issue a permit to cremate human remains in certain circumstances.

I commend the bill to the Assembly as a framework which provides for flexible and appropriate regulation of cemeteries and crematoria in the ACT.

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

Road Transport Legislation Amendment Bill 2002

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

Title read by Clerk.

MR WOOD (Minister for Urban Services and Minister for the Arts) (10.48): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

This bill introduces a written-off vehicle register (WOVR) into the ACT, allows for the retention of digital images of persons issued with a drivers licence or proof-of-age card and streamlines the procedures for authorising persons under the road transport legislation.

Vehicle theft and identity fraud are significant problems. This legislation will enable the ACT to address these issues, both at a local level and as part of national efforts to address these problems. It is being brought forward now because the written-off vehicle register and image retention initiatives are linked to the current development of the ACT Road Transport Authority's new rego.act computer system.

A written-off vehicle register is a key element in addressing vehicle theft, removing from use vehicle identifiers that can be used to rebirth stolen vehicles. In April 1999, Australian Transport Council ministers agreed to the development of a written-off vehicle register in each jurisdiction. The ACT written-off vehicle register legislation is based on national guidelines, as well as corresponding legislation in New South Wales, where a written-off vehicle register is well established.

Rego.act will introduce digitally produced drivers licences and proof-of-age cards, and provide a capacity to retain licence photographs and signatures. Retention of images will assist with identity fraud problems by improving the integrity of the driver licensing and proof-of-age card system. Legislation and processes for the retention of images are already in place in New South Wales.

The need for tighter identity fraud controls needs to be balanced with full respect for privacy issues. The Road Transport Authority, as an ACT government agency, is bound by the Privacy Act 1988. Sections 33C and 33D of this legislation clearly specify the lawful uses and limited lawful disclosures that can be made of the stored images.

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