Page 2736 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 16 August 2005

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contributions to schools. This amendment will ensure that all students will continue to have free access to government school facilities and will be able to make curriculum choices regardless of their capacity to pay, while providing opportunities for additional specific optional services such as overseas excursions.

A number of minor and technical amendments to the Education Act will be introduced which will clarify the intent of the legislation and address incompatibility within the act. These changes will make the legislation more accessible and easier to use. It will demonstrate how the act is not a static document but is able to meet issues as they arise in order to support the provision of high quality education for students in the ACT.

The government has a proven track record also for supporting older Canberrans. Proposed amendments to the Powers of Attorney Act 1956 will implement relevant recommendations for changes to the powers of attorney regime made by the Standing Committee on Health and Community Care in 2001 in its report on elder abuse and the outcome of the review of the substitute decision-making scheme undertaken by the government. The amendments will update the legislation to regulate substitute decision-making instruments, including powers of attorney and advanced health directives, particularly in line with changes made to corresponding legislation in other Australian jurisdictions.

The protection of both the urban and the natural environment of the ACT is a further priority for the government. The government is to amend the Roads and Public Places Act to provide three-year lease permits for outdoor cafes and markets and to give explicit authority to paint over illegal graffiti.

Adequate provision is to be made for the welfare of animals, be they domestic stock, companion animals or native fauna. The government will establish a new offence under the Animal Welfare Act 1992 for reckless or negligent behaviour that causes serious harm or death to an animal. The new offence will send a strong signal that animal cruelty in any form is a particularly abhorrent act. It will also accommodate agreed amendments recommended by the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee following its review of the Animal Welfare Act. Some minor administrative matters identified in the national competition policy review of the act also will be addressed.

Mr Speaker, those are just a few of the initiatives proposed in the government’s spring legislation program. This will carry on the government’s work in addressing Canberra’s priority issues and for responding to community needs and concerns. I look forward to having the cooperation of all members in the timely consideration of these bills.


Mr Stanhope presented the following paper:

Petition—out of order

Pursuant to standing order 83A—Petition which does not conform with the standing orders—

Proposed dragway—Majura Valley—Mr Stanhope (1,516 citizens).

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