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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (3 April) . . Page.. 1369 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

project to completion. Last year the Interpretation Act 1967 was repealed, following the incorporation of all its remaining provisions into the Legislation Act. The bill now before the Assembly will complete the updating of the provisions of the old Interpretation Act.

As I stated in my presentation speech, the bill amends the Legislation Act to restate the provisions dealing with statutory interpretation. The objectives of the restatement are to make the law clearer and more coherent and to take account of developments in the common law.

In summary, proposed new chapter 14 of the Legislation Act will state three key principles of statutory interpretation. First, that the interpretation of a provision of an act or statutory rule that best gives effect to the purpose of the act or instrument is to be preferred to any other interpretation. Secondly, that the provisions of an act or statutory instrument are to be interpreted in the context of the act or instrument as a whole. Thirdly, that non-legislative material may be considered in working out the meaning of an act or statutory instrument.

This principle is stated to be subject to three safeguards in that the court or tribunal considering the question of interpretation must take into account the desirability of being able to rely on the ordinary meaning of the act in the light of its purpose and legislative context, the undesirability of prolonging court or tribunal proceedings without compensating advantage and public accessibility to the non-legislative material.

Finally, the government wishes to record its particular appreciation for the valuable and constructive contribution made by the ACT Bar Association to the development of these reforms in consultation with parliamentary counsel. As always, I thank the Parliamentary Counsel's Office for the sterling work that it continues to do in our legislation drafting and program. I commend the bill.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Affordable housing task force

Papers and statement by minister

Debate resumed from 12 December 2002, on motion by Mr Wood .

MRS BURKE (4.09): Mr Speaker, in December 2002 the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services tabled the report from the Ministerial Task Force on Affordable Housing entitled Affordable Housing in the Australian Capital Territory: Strategies for Action. In his tabling statement, the minister said that he had much pleasure in tabling the report from the ministerial task force. I would have to concur with that. This is an incredibly in-depth and well put together and collated report-a fine report, indeed.

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