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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (27 November) . . Page.. 4784 ..

Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2003 (No 2)

Mr Stanhope , pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by clerk.

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Community Affairs) (10.34): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, the Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2003 is the ninth bill in a series of bills dealing with legislation within the Justice and Community Safety portfolio. The bill makes a number of substantive and minor technical amendments to portfolio legislation and the amendments are as follows:

The Agents Act: the vast majority of offences in the Agents Act 2003 are strict liability offences. Sections 86 and 87 of the act are exceptions, as both sections expressly include a fault element. The addition of a subsection stating that the offences in these sections are strict liability offences was an oversight and is removed by this amendment. The amendment also makes changes to the act for consistency with the Consumer and Trader Tribunal Act 2003, and corrects a typographical error in the act.

Consumer Credit Act 1995: this amendment removes section 10 of the Consumer Credit Act 1995 and inserts a new part 3A into the act to amend the current wording of the regulation-making power under the act, which is currently limited specifically to the setting of a percentage rate. The amendment is necessary to facilitate an amendment to the consumer credit regulations to require all fees and charges associated with a loan to be included in the maximum annual percentage rate charged. Short-term credit providers will be required to disclose the full cost of credit in their precontractual and contractual documents so that consumers are aware of the true cost of the loan.

Consumer credit regulations 1996: this is a consequential amendment required due to changes to the Consumer Credit Act.

Cooperatives Act 2002: this amendment corrects a number of anomalies identified in the course of drafting the regulations for the Cooperatives Act. The Cooperatives Act 2002 provides that a registrar of cooperatives is to be appointed by the chief executive, but that deputy registrars are to be appointed by the minister. This bill amends the act to allow the chief executive also to appoint deputy registrars. This amendment corrects the anomaly, provides for easier administration, and ensures consistency with provisions in other legislation, such as the Consumer and Trader Tribunal Act.

Cooperatives regulations 2003: the bill amends the cooperatives regulations to specify the Commonwealth Aboriginal Councils and Associations Act 1976 as a law under which a cooperative may, if approved, become registered or incorporated under section 307 of the Cooperatives Act.

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