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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1683 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

which the file is accessed and use the file's digital signature to verify whether the file is the same as the authorised version that has been digitally signed by the Parliamentary Counsel's office.

I would also like briefly to mention one other matter in relation to the legislation register. Amendments will clarify the procedures for gazette notification of the making of a law, or the disallowance or amendment of a statutory instrument by the Legislative Assembly, rather than notification in the legislation register. Such a case has never happened since the register was established. The amendments ensure that the gazette notification procedures are sufficiently flexible to deal with the exceptional circumstances in which they may need to be used.

The bill contains a large number of minor amendments, with detailed explanatory notes, so I will not go through each of them. However, there are two amendments in schedule 3 that members may want to note.

The first is to the Bushfire Inquiry (Protection of Statements) Act 2003 to remove any doubt about whether the defence provided by the act would still be available after the expiry of the act. This was the clear intention of the Assembly when the bill was debated recently.

Second, the terminology of the Discrimination Act 1991 is updated by changing the term "impairment"to "disability". This change was suggested by the Discrimination Commissioner, Ms Rosemary Follett, to bring the terminology used in the act into line with common usage and other legislation, including the ACT's Disability Services Act and the Commonwealth's Disability Discrimination Act. The change does not affect the legal operation of the Discrimination Act.

The parliamentary counsel is also available to provide any additional explanation or information that members would like about any of the amendments in the use of digital signatures to verify the accuracy of downloaded electronic copies of authorised legislation and legislative material.

The explanatory statement for the bill also contains more detailed information about the technological changes to the legislation register. The bill, while minor and technical in nature, is another important building block in the development of a modernised and accessible ACT statute book that is second to none in Australia.

I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Nurses Amendment Bill 2003

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

Title read by Clerk.

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