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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 3179 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Education is a high government priority, with the government looking to introduce the Education Bill 2003. The bill will provide a framework for the provision of high-quality education to the territory by consolidating into one act provisions now spread over four acts. Members will recall that this was flagged for the autumn 2003 legislation program but has been held over, due to lengthy consultations and a significant response to the exposure draft of the bill.

Other legislation includes the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Bill 2003, which will provide an integrated and more efficient regime for the licensing of construction occupations and improve disciplinary and offence provisions. It also provides a new complaints process. A rewrite of the Building Act 1972 will be part of the associated legislative reform package, to remove existing anomalies and ensure a seamless integration with the licensing bill.

A Heritage Bill will be proposed to replace existing provisions in the land act and introduce new heritage legislation for the territory. This was also held over from the autumn 2003 program.

Mr Speaker, these are just some of the initiatives proposed in the spring 2003 program. The program reflects the government's priorities for good governance and for responding to community needs. I seek the cooperation of all members in the timely consideration of these bills.

I commend the 2003 legislation program to the Assembly.

Classification of films and computer games

Paper and statement by minister

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Community Affairs): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games 2003, prepared by the Office of Film and Literature Classification.

I ask for leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE: The new guidelines for the classification of films and computer games came into effect on 30 March this year. These guidelines supersede the guidelines for the classification of films and videotapes and the guidelines for the classification of computer games.

The need to combine the guidelines arose out of the increasing sophistication of computer games, which has resulted in a blurring of the distinction between films and computer games, particularly for classification purposes. As the distinctions between the two are becoming increasingly artificial, it is both sensible and practical to develop a single set of guidelines for both films and computer games.

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