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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 8 Hansard (19 August) . . Page.. 2861 ..

Personal explanation

MS TUCKER: I would like to make an explanation under standing order 46 or 47; I'm not sure which. I just do need to respond to and put on the public record a couple of things that were said during this debate. I wasn't going to respond, but I really do think I have to rebut it.

Mrs Dunne and Mrs Cross-and I can't remember exactly who said which; I think both of them did-said I hadn't read the submissions. Mrs Dunne definitely said I hadn't read the committee report. That's quite incorrect. That was Mrs Dunne.

I think both of them said I didn't care. Of course I have to put on the public record, although I think it is pretty obvious from the extensive work I've done in planning since I've been here since 1995, that I do care about Canberra, and I do care about it having a good planning system.

Mrs Dunne also just said that she thought I'd said in my speech that I hadn't taken any notice of the committee; she's claiming I didn't. What I said in my speech was that our primary area of disagreement with the committee report is on its main recommendation, which is No 2. Of course we looked at the rest of the report. Some of those concerns and submissions are indeed what I've picked up and what I've agreed to do with Mr Corbell in terms of unit titling.

Civil Law (Wrongs) Amendment Bill 2003

Debate resumed from 24 June 2003, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR STEFANIAK (9.06): Mr Speaker, we are probably up to draft 14 or 15 with the announcement of the Chief Minister at about 6.50 pm tonight in relation to further amendments. Hopefully, we will deal with those on Thursday.

Mr Speaker, tort law reform along the lines of this bill probably has been coming for some time, regardless of the insurance crisis or anything else in relation to that. I can recall as a young law student, probably along with the Chief Minister, doing tort law at the ANU in the early 1970s and learning about landmark cases in tort law, such as Donoghue v Stevenson, and some of the remarkable judgments of Lord Denning in relation to actions by government authorities and others in terms of significant tort law reform in the 1940s and 1950s in the United Kingdom.

I can also recall being earbashed by Professor Patrick Atiyah in terms of no fault liability, an interesting concept then in its infancy in New Zealand. Indeed, my colleague Mr Smyth introduced some bills which were defeated here in relation to some of that. It is a very interesting area, a crucial area. I was impressed with the fairness of a lot of those early decisions; but over the last couple of decades the United States, the most litigious of all societies, has gone to some rather ridiculous extremes, with persons suing others for any manner of supposed wrongdoing, and we have heard of persons getting payouts which generally people would not necessarily think were deserved.

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