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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2586 ..



directly to staff of the agency, because the allocation of duties and powers within the agency is a matter for the board to decide.

The board can only delegate to the CEO. Delegation by the CEO to staff would be a subdelegation, which is not permitted by the Legislation Act. To make clear the ability to delegate from the agency to staff, the government has decided that section 56 should be amended, and that is what this amendment is about.

This amendment to the bill does not affect the actual level or nature of delegation. It only operates to the extent that the agency itself has a delegation from the ACT Planning and Land Authority. The amendment is a technical one to avoid the possibility of breaching the Legislation Act by providing for subdelegation and allows for the proper administration of the Land Development Agency's functions.

Mr Speaker, I wrote to all crossbench members and to Mrs Dunne on 18 June this year outlining these amendments and offering a briefing. I make the point that this was prior to the amendments being circulated in the Assembly when consideration of this legislation was last adjourned.


(3.57): Mr Speaker, the Liberal opposition will be opposing this amendment. The minister gives a reasonable representation of why this provision might be necessary one day: it might be necessary for someone to issue several hundred leases at one time and that would be inconvenient for the chief executive, which is what it boils down to.

This issue was specifically canvassed in evidence and in discussion before the Planning and Environment Committee when we looked at the planning and land legislation in October of last year. It was an issue of some concern because this power is already delegated, Mr Speaker. It is a power that rests with the executive as being delegated to the ACT Planning Authority, as it will become on 1 July. At the time, members of the committee had considerable reservations about whether that delegation should be further delegated to another authority.

At this stage, having had discussions with parliamentary counsel as to the genesis of this delegation, the Liberal opposition is not satisfied that the need has been demonstrated, that we need to further delegate this power. Delegation is always a difficult and contentious issue. How far do you delegate? Who has the power to do it? I do not want to see the situation arise where the power to issue leases ends up the responsibility of a registry clerk or something of this nature.

This is a very important matter. It is a matter that occupied some time and some amount of discussion in the Planning and Environment Committee when we looked at this bill. We had concerns about the necessity or the efficacy of delegating again that power which was already delegated. Using the legal nostrum delegatis non delegare, I cannot at this stage support this amendment.

If the minister wants to come back here after the land agency has been operating for some time and demonstrate that there is an absolute need to delegate this power further, I will consider it. At this stage, I am not convinced. I think that it is sufficient, for something as important as issuing leases in the ACT, that this power should be kept to a

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