Page 546 - Week 02 - Thursday, 17 February 2005

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MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs) (10.40): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2005 is the twelfth bill in a series of bills dealing with legislation within the justice and community safety portfolio. The bill makes a number of minor and technical amendments to portfolio legislation. The amendments are as follows.

The bill amends the Agents Act to remove the requirement for a person applying for a travel agents licence to manage another licensed agent’s business as an employee from having to meet the additional eligibility grounds for licensing under section 26 of the Agents Act. Under the act, a licensed agent who operates more than one place of business must employ another licensed agent to be responsible for the day-to-day management of the other place of business or businesses. It was never intended that a licensed travel agent working as an employee of another licensed travel agent would be required to meet the additional eligibility grounds for licensing and participate in the travel compensation fund, because the owner of the travel agency would have already contributed to the compensation fund for the total operation of the business, including the branch office.

The bill amends the Evidence Act to remove the definition of “diplomatic or consular representative” and section 17 of the act, which deals with the attestation of documents outside the ACT. Section 17 is now redundant because the commonwealth has removed the obligation to adduce evidence to prove that a document was signed or attested, as it purports to have been signed or attested. As a result of recent concerns within the community about justices of the peace appointments in circumstances where a justice of the peace may have been convicted of a criminal offence, it has become necessary to amend the act to ensure that there are specific criteria for appointments and termination of appointments.

The bill amends the Justices of the Peace Act to include eligibility grounds for appointments of justices of the peace, as well as listing various circumstances in which the appointment of a justice of the peace may be ended, such as when a justice of the peace has been convicted of a serious criminal offence punishable by imprisonment for at least one year, or where a justice of the peace becomes bankrupt, executes a personal insolvency agreement, or is suffering from a physical or mental incapacity which substantially affects their ability to exercise their functions. The bill also amends the act to allow for the creation of further guidelines for appointments and termination of appointments in the future.

The bill amends the Liquor Act to extend the permit system under the legislation to allow winegrowers who do not hold an ACT off-licence to apply for a permit to sell unopened bottles of wine at ACT Tourism events for consumption away from the place or event listed in the permit. The extension will also apply to allow sales of wine by non-profit organisations as a fund-raising activity. The extension of the permit system was a recommendation that came out of the ACT business regulation review. The extension of the permit system to non-profit organisations to sell wine as a fund-raising activity mirrors the permit systems operating in other jurisdictions. Winegrowers who sell wine

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