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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (3 April) . . Page.. 1361 ..

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, the report I have tabled, prepared by the Commissioner for Public Administration, Mr Richard Moss, finalises the commissioner's review of the Public Sector Management Act 1994. The report was presented to me by the commissioner following the preparation of a series of discussion papers released from December 2001. I tabled these papers in the Assembly in April 2002.

The report sets out 31 recommendations for changes to the act, reflecting the core themes identified by the commissioner. The government will now consider the contents of the report and develop a position on the recommendations made by the commissioner.

Endorsement of Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Amendment Regulations 2003

Paper and statement by minister

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for the Environment): Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I present the following paper:

Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act, pursuant to section 6A-Endorsement of Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Amendment Regulations 2003.

I ask for leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, as the designated person under section 6 (a) of the ACT's Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997, I have endorsed the proposed regulations of the Commonwealth regarding the special exemptions that apply to the Commonwealth's Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement 1997.

The Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement is an arrangement between the Commonwealth, state and territory governments of Australia and the government of New Zealand. The agreement allows goods to be traded freely and enhances the freedom of individuals to work in both countries by addressing regulatory impediments to trade, such as different standards for goods and duplicative testing, certification or qualification requirements.

When the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement was signed in 1997, there were six industry areas where further examination of both Australian and New Zealand regulatory requirements was necessary to determine whether mutual recognition was appropriate. As a result, special exemption status was given to the following sectors: automotive; consumer product; electromagnetic compatibility and radio communications; gas; hazardous substances; and therapeutic goods.

During the special exemption period, the relevant regulatory bodies in Australia and New Zealand have embarked on a cooperation program in each of these sectors. The reports produced of each cooperation program seek to introduce mutual recognition, harmonise the regulations of Australia and New Zealand, permanently exempt the regulations or roll over the special exemption status.

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