Page 610 - Week 02 - Thursday, 17 February 2005

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DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (4.28): I do not want to say very much. The purpose of the Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2004 (No 2) is to correct errors, remove uncertainty and to make some minor legislative and technical changes. The Greens have examined the legislation. We have not discovered anything that would lead to us to have any concerns; nor have we been advised of any community concerns about the proposed changes. So we will be supporting the legislation.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs) (4.29), in reply: This Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill (No 2) is the eleventh bill in a series of bills dealing with legislation within the justice and community safety portfolio. As the shadow attorney has indicated, the bill makes a number of minor and technical amendments to portfolio legislation. The bill amends the Agents Act, the Bail Act, the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act, the Confiscation of Criminal Assets Act, the Drugs of Dependence Act, the Legislation Act, the Magistrates Court Act, the Security Industry Act and regulations in the Smoking (Prohibition in Enclosed Public Places) Act 2003.

In response to the Scrutiny of Bills Committee’s comments concerning the amendment to the Smoking (Prohibition in Enclosed Public Places) Act, I wish to clarify that the amendment in clause 41 prevents the automatic cancellation of a liquor licence by the court in circumstances where the cancellation may not be proportionate to the severity of the offence. For example, the court may be required to find a licensee guilty on the facts before it, but the automatic cancellation of the liquor licence may not be proportionate to the severity of the offence. In these circumstances, the licensee should not be denied natural justice in terms of stating their case against cancellation before the Liquor Licensing Board.

The board may, for example, issue enforceable directions to the licensee that may better serve the public interest and I thank the Scrutiny of Bills Committee for its comments on clause 41. In addition, I foreshadow that I will be moving five government amendments to this bill. These are consequential amendments to the amendments to the Drugs of Dependence Act and are just references to the Drugs of Dependence Regulations, the Periodic Detention Act, the Road Transport (Alcohol and Drugs) Act, the Smoke-free Areas (Enclosed Public Places) Act and the Tobacco Act.

There is also a government amendment to the provisions amending the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act 2002 that corrects a drafting error in the bill. The bill was meant to change the time period for claimants to give a written notice of a claim for damages to a respondent, making it one month from when a claimant instructs, rather than consults, a lawyer to act on their behalf. This amendment prevents claimants from inadvertently setting off the time period by receiving informal advice on their claim. The government has responded to representations from the law society in making that amendment. I thank members for their contribution to the debate and for supporting these minor and technical amendments.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

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