Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 08 Hansard (Friday, 1 July 2005) . . Page.. 2650 ..
of the standing orders, as referred to in section 418 of the legislation, and the government’s response to these papers in addition to outcomes of the working group’s activity.
Given that the minister’s department is to provide her with an analysis of the standing orders within three months of commencement, I would hope that we could set a time frame on the report, such as the last sitting week of the year. In the context of human rights concerns regarding Quamby and some of the issues of legality raised by this bill, I see that such a report would ensure that the review of standing orders would be conducted in a transparent manner.
MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support, Minister for Women and Minister for Industrial Relations) (9.36), in reply: I thank members for their contribution to the debate on this important bill. As outlined in my presentation speech, the bill addresses problems that date back to the beginning of self-government in the ACT with regard to juvenile justice matters. These are not problems that have arisen overnight; they have a long history and relate to successive legislative changes over the period.
Specifically, the problems addressed in the bill include the declaration of Quamby Youth Detention Centre as a shelter and institution under the act, the declaration of community youth justice offices in their various locations as attendance centres under the act, the declaration of Marlow Cottage as a shelter under the act, the validity of the standing orders used at Quamby, and the appointment of official visitors under the act. Since discovering these problems, we have moved quickly to address the issues raised and bring legislation forward to give the necessary surety for the staff and young people of Quamby.
I introduced this bill last week on late notice and the scrutiny of bills committee has given it an in-depth and speedy response. I wish to place on record my gratitude to the committee for so quickly turning to the bill in time for this debate. I appreciate the committee’s response and comments. Of course, I will respond in the traditional manner by way of a letter to the committee for addition to its next report, but I am obliged and happy to respond to the points made on the bill in this closing speech today.
At the outset I would like to reiterate some points made in my presentation speech and explanatory statement; that is, that in this bill we are addressing some fundamental housekeeping in our laws and practices that underpin the running of institutions such as Quamby and Marlow Cottage in the ACT. Our purposes are clearly set out and identified in the committee’s report—to provide for the making of standing orders for places of detention, to expand on the regulation-making power under the act and to give retrospective statutory effect to a number of instruments made under the act. The essential aim of these measures is to prevent unnecessary litigation arising out of a technical oversight dating back to the beginning of self-government in the ACT.
There are three principal points raised in our committee’s report. These are the principle against the retrospective operation of the law; privative clauses; and appropriate delegation of legislative power. I am grateful for this dialogue and turn to address each of those matters in principle. As stated above, I will give more details in my written