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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1681 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

territory, refuses name changes where it is suspected that the change is being made for a fraudulent purpose, provides for the notation of the person's birth certificate in the state of birth and establishes a mechanism that links birth and death records around Australia. These safeguards are not available under the Registration of Deeds Act 1957.

The proposal to amend the act has risen out of discussions between the registrars of births, deaths and marriages across Australia, the Australian Federal Police and other Commonwealth agencies. A meeting of the Council of the Australian Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages in 2002 recognised the need for states and territories with general deeds registries to amend the legislation to prevent the registration of changes of name by deed poll. The annual Australian Conference of Registrars of Title in November 2002 also agreed that the legislation should be amended to prevent names being changed by deed poll.

The amendment bill addresses an issue that the government sees as of great importance: the reduction of identity fraud in commercial dealings. The bill further exemplifies the government's determination to manage the process of name changing to prevent or minimise fraudulent changes of name. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Statute Law Amendment Bill 2003

Mr Wood

, on behalf of Mr Stanhope, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR WOOD (Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for the Arts and Heritage and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.48): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, this bill makes statute law revision amendments to ACT legislation under guidelines for the technical amendment program approved by the government. The bill makes amendments that are minor or technical and non-controversial. They are insufficiently important to justify the presentation of separate legislation in each case and are inappropriate to make as editorial amendments in the process of republishing legislation under the Legislation Act 2001.

However, the bill serves the important purpose of improving the overall quality of the ACT statute book so that our laws are kept up to date and are easier to find, read and understand. A well-maintained statute book significantly enhances access to ACT legislation, and it is a very practical measure to give effect to the principle that members of the community have a right to know the laws they are required to uphold and obey.

The enhancement of the ACT statute book through the technical amendments program is also a process of modernisation. For example, laws need to be kept up to date to reflect ongoing technological and societal change. Also, as the ACT statute book has been created from various jurisdictional sources over a long period, it reflects the various

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