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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (27 November) . . Page.. 4906 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

ACT Office of Parliamentary Counsel has acquired for itself a reputation that is not surpassed by any similar office around Australia. That is a real credit to the office and to the ACT, and I would like to acknowledge that again tonight.

Both Mr Stefaniak and Ms Tucker went to some lengths to discuss the amendment relating to the Building and Construction Industry Training Levy Act 1999. The explanatory note in my introductory speech in introducing the legislation sought to explain the basis and the nature of the amendment.

Ms Tucker laments-and Mr Stefaniak made the same point-the lack of a fuller explanation. I rush to assure you, Ms Tucker, there is no conspiracy around this. There was a mistake. We do not quite know how or why it occurred or what particular system broke down, but I am prepared to cop the fact that a mistake occurred in the appointments and that the act needed to be amended retrospectively to fix it in the way that you indicated. I think it is appropriate that we do that after the event.

We acknowledge the error, the breakdown of the system. Certainly, it was a serious breach of process and we have no full explanation of exactly how or why that occurred. I regret that that happened. We have fixed it and we will move to ensure this does not happen again.

I am not sure there is much more I can say. I have no greater explanation than is provided in these documents, nor do those ministers of mine who were involved. I am afraid I cannot throw any greater light on the breakdown in process that occurred in relation to those particular appointments. It is a matter of regret and it certainly was an administrative failing on our part. All I can do is hope that it will not occur again.

I will say no more than that. This is a useful piece of legislation, a valuable continuing service provided to the legislature by the Office of Parliamentary Counsel. I thank them again and I thank members for taking an interest in this continuing law reform.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Gene Technology Bill 2002

Detail stage

Debate resumed from 28 August 2003.

Clause 4.

MS TUCKER (10.04): Just for the information of members, I was going to be moving some amendments, but I will not be moving them now. I would like to thank the minister for taking the time to get comprehensive advice to assist us in understanding what the implications might have been, had those amendments been passed. However, at no stage

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