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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3748 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

minister can only make rules and principles which are fair and reasonable, consistent with the definition of that term as defined by the courts.

MS DUNDAS (5.38): Mr Speaker, the government's amendment to require that the terms governing arbitration must be fair and reasonable goes a long way towards dealing with the VMOs' concerns that the arbitration process could be weighted too heavily in the government's favour. It is not normal for arbitrated settlements between contractual parties to be governed by the terms set by only one of the parties. It is more normal for the parties to negotiate terms of arbitration between them.

This amendment gives affected parties a right to go to the Supreme Court under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act if the minister in the future creates an unfair set of rules to govern arbitration. Under the original set of words, there seemed to be very little in the way of a check on these new powers that we are giving to the government, so I am quite happy to see the government putting forward this amendment and I hope that the Assembly will support it today.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 4, as amended, agreed to.

Remainder of bill, by leave, taken as a whole and agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Order of business

Ordered that order of the day No 3, executive business, relating to the Financial Management Amendment Bill 2003 (No 2), be postponed until the next day of sitting.

Animal and Plant Diseases Amendment Bill 2003

Detail stage

Clause 1.

Debate resumed from 28 August 2003.

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Community Affairs) (5.41): Mr Speaker, debate on the Animal and Plant Diseases Amendment Bill was adjourned on the last occasion it came before the Assembly. At that time there was discussion taking place about amendments proposed by Ms Tucker. Those amendments related to the extent to which the relevant acts should require information to be provided to the media in the event of an emergency animal or plant disease quarantine declaration.

I noted on that occasion that there was a need to have further discussions about the proposed amendments and members did agree to adjourn debate on the bill to allow those discussions to take place. That has occurred. The government now proposes to move a number of amendments that give effect to principles agreed in discussions by the government with Ms Tucker and the Greens and with the Liberal Party.

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