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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (1 April) . . Page.. 1125 ..

Clauses 9 and 10, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 11.

MS TUCKER (11.31): I move amendment No 2 circulated in my name, to which I have already spoken [see schedule 1 at page 1197].

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 11, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 12 to 32, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 33.

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for the Environment) (11.33): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 2 at page 1197]. I table a supplementary explanatory statement.

Mr Speaker, amendment 1 amends clause 33 of the bill by inserting a reference to provisions of the Legislation Act 2001, which allows summonsed witnesses to claim client legal privilege and privilege against self-incrimination. This amendment is the result of comments from the Scrutiny of Bills Committee, and I thank the Scrutiny of Bills Committee again for the significant work that it has done in relation to this piece of legislation.

The Scrutiny of Bills Committee expressed concern over witness costs that may result from clause 33 of the bill. The government noted this concern and this amendment, of course, is a response to that. The provision allows the tribunal to summons a person to give evidence, as based on the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 which does not allow witnesses to recover their costs. Witness costs cannot be recovered in the Mental Health Tribunal, the Guardianship and Management of Property Tribunal, or the Essential Services Consumer Council. However, the AAT does permit witnesses to claim their expenses.

Clause 33 recognises that witnesses do not need to incur costs. There is no need to physically appear before the tribunal. Summonsed witnesses can give evidence by phone, closed-circuit television or other means of communication. In the context of this amendment, the government has acknowledged and responded to the concerns that have been raised.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 33, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 34 to 45, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 46.

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