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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3747 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

Basically, the whole thing is about procedural fairness, but I understand that there is concern-I can see how there could be concern-that another set of principles could be written later by a minister who is less concerned than Mr Corbell about procedural fairness. I understand that there is an amendment from Mr Corbell which says that these principles have to be fair and reasonable. At a briefing, I asked what that means legally. "Fair and reasonable"matches the term used in case law in National Mutual Life Association of Australia Ltd v Jevtovic. In this case, the judge adopted the Shorter Oxford Dictionary definition of the terms "just", "unbiased", "equitable"and "impartial". That is an important principle, understood to have meaning in law, that will guide any future writing on principles. From my perspective, I am still comfortable with what is happening at this point with the government's amendment.

Mr Corbell's amendment to Ms Dundas's proposed amendment agreed to.

Question put:

That Ms Dundas's amendment, as amended, be agreed to.

The Assembly voted-

Ayes 9

Noes 4


Mr Berry

Mr Hargreaves

Mrs Dunne

Mr Corbell

Mr Quinlan

Mr Pratt

Mrs Cross

Mr Stanhope

Mr Smyth

Ms Dundas

Ms Tucker

Mr Stefaniak

Ms Gallagher

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Ms Dundas's amendment, as amended, agreed to.

MR CORBELL (Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (5.36): I move amendment 24 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 3760].

This amendment proposes the insertion of the words "must be fair and reasonable"in proposed new section 33G (5) (c). As Ms Tucker outlined in her speech on the previous amendment, this provision requires a minister to make rules and principles in relation to arbitration which, amongst other things, must be fair and reasonable. As she outlined in her speech, the notion of what is fair and reasonable has been defined by the courts and is essentially a reference to being unbiased, just, equitable and a number of other words along those lines. I do not have the exact definition in front of me, but Ms Tucker read it out in speaking to the previous amendment.

The importance of this amendment is that it is, again, a response by the government to concerns raised by the VMOA and the AMA that the minister may seek to make rules and principles which are unfair towards VMOs. In response, the government has proposed this amendment, on the advice of both the Government Solicitor and the Parliamentary Counsel's Office, effectively to enshrine in the act the requirement that the

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