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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3003 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

information will no longer be publicly available, although it would still be available for persons with a legitimate official interest, such as the police.

Finally, the bill will remove the provisions relating to designated medical officers from the act. Designated medical officers are doctors nominated by the Chief Health Officer for the purposes of the act. Under the act, brothel owners are required to take reasonable steps to ensure that a sex worker does not provide commercial sexual services when infected with an STD. Where a brothel owner relies on an examination by a designated medical officer to satisfy himself or herself that a sex worker is not working with an STD, he or she would rely on that as evidence in any subsequent prosecution.

The rationale underlying the designated medical officer provisions when they were enacted was to minimise the potential for sex workers to shop around for false certificates that they do not have an STD infection. These provisions are no longer necessary because the updating of the definition of "sexually transmitted disease" in the Sexually Transmitted Diseases Act 1956 means that these diseases are all notifiable diseases under both that act and the Public Health Act 1997.

Since the review of the act, a number of notifiable diseases have been determined under the Public Health Act 1997, including all of the diseases in the proposed new sexually transmitted disease definition. As notifiable conditions under the Public Health Act, laboratory or medical practitioner notifications for all diseases defined under the Sexually Transmitted Diseases Act would be investigated. This provides a deterrent to medical practitioners issuing false certificates. On this basis, the bill repeals the provisions relating to designated medical officers.

Mr Speaker, I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Workers Compensation Supplementation Fund Amendment Bill 2002

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

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (10.45): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I seek leave to have my presentation speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows:

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