Page 3237 - Week 10 - Thursday, 25 August 2005

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might be provided to parties considering entering such agreements, with advice as to where such advice might be looked for.

I support the proposed changes to the Powers of Attorney Act 1956, with particular reference to recognising enduring powers of attorney made interstate. It seems sensible to avoid involving the Public Advocate when clear arrangements have been made for substitute decision making in another jurisdiction. It is very common for people to live in one state or territory and own property or conduct business in another. It is also likely that, with an ageing population, the use of enduring power of attorney will become more common. I believe that New South Wales has recognised enduring power of attorney made interstate since 2003. It is appropriate that we have reciprocal legislation, particularly when we see Canberra as serving the region and not just the territory.

I also support the safeguard that the enduring power of attorney has effect in the ACT only to the extent that the powers it gives under the law of the other jurisdiction could validly have been given by an enduring power of attorney made under ACT legislation. This would not be necessary if we had uniform powers of attorney legislation across the country instead of significant variations across states and territories. I understand that the Australian Guardianship and Administration Committee is suggesting that, while progress is being made, there is still much work to be done to achieve cross-jurisdictional consistency and uniformity in relation to these matters. I trust that the government is participating in ongoing work to this end, especially given the fact that Canberra, perhaps more than any other jurisdiction, has people who consider themselves permanent residents elsewhere.

I turn to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997. It appears appropriate to manage bonds collected from occupiers who have entered occupancy agreements in the same way that we manage bonds collected from tenants who have entered residential tenancy agreements. I assume that this ensures that occupiers have access to the Residential Tenancy Tribunal to resolve any disputes arising over bonds lodged with the Office of Rental Bonds.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs) (12.25), in reply: This bill is the 13th 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 the portfolio legislation. The bill makes amendments to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act, the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act, the Civil Law Wrongs Regulation, the Conveyancing Act, the Corrections Reform Amendment Act, the Domestic Relationships Act, the Legal Practitioners Act, the Partnership Act, the Powers of Attorney Act, the Remuneration Tribunal Act, the Residential Tenancies Act, the Standard Time and Summer Time Act, the Supreme Court Act, the Trustee Act, the Trustee Companies Act and the Trading Stamps Act.

Of particular note are amendments to the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act 2002 and the Civic Law Wrongs Regulation 2003 to ease the limitation periods for people who may wish to make civil claims in injury cases but may also wish to attempt alternative dispute resolution methods first, such as conciliation of medical complaints. Acknowledging the specific circumstances in which limitation periods should be extended will ensure fairness in the civil law system as well as encouraging plaintiffs to seek alternative

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