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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (27 November) . . Page.. 4904 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

Magistrates Court rules by this statute law amendment bill is one example of efforts to create a fully consistent and relevant statute book, and the elimination of unnecessary references certainly reduces confusion.

Mr Stefaniak and I found the same error with this piece of legislation-perhaps it would be better described as evidence of confusion. As Mr Stefaniak pointed out, on the final page of the bill before us the most recent determinants governing employment conditions of staff of Assembly members are listed for repeal and apparently Parliamentary Counsel, in its enthusiasm to tidy up the statute book, included these instruments for repeal, even though they are still currently in force for staff of Assembly members.

Parliamentary Counsel and the Chief Minister's Department have agreed that they will endeavour to communicate better in the future so that the effect of any proposed repeal is fully checked out before the instrument is included in a statute law amendment bill. But no harm is done in this instance because the bill, once passed, will not commence until 14 days after notification.

By the time the act commences, the new certified agreement governing members staff, which was overwhelmingly endorsed by staff last week, should be certified by the AIRC. The Chief Minister is then expected to have made a new, much shorter determination of employment conditions for members staff, and he will formally then revoke the old determinations at the same time. I will keep my eye out for the new determinations. I hope we have them within 14 days, otherwise we will be in quite a bind with the old ones being repealed by this piece of legislation.

That having been said, I again reiterate my support for cleaning up the statute book and making it more accessible for the people of the ACT.

MS TUCKER (9.56): This is another omnibus bill to tidy up or better express various parts of territory laws. There are just a couple of matters on which I want to comment. The Greens welcome the clarification of the Legislation Act so as to leave no doubt that making a retrospective law is a very serious matter. A retrospectively commencing act requires a clear intention. Further, a subordinate law-a statutory instrument-cannot provide for retrospective commencement of a prejudicial provision of the instrument unless this is done under the authority of an act. This is indeed a topical change.

The explanatory note uses the hypothetical locus damage compensation determination to show what a prejudicial provision is. This example is about a retrospective regulation seeking to take away something a group of people were entitled to. This echoes the federal government's recent stunt with retrospective subordinate legislation, excising even more islands from the definition of Australian territory. So I certainly welcome this change.

I would also like to comment briefly on the amendment which fixes up a mistake made in the appointment of members of the Building and Construction Industry Training Levy Board. Specifically, there is no record of a formal appointment or re-appointment of members of the board between November 2002, when the previous appointments expired, and July 2003, when new appointments were made.

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