Page 3238 - Week 10 - Thursday, 25 August 2005

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dispute resolution. Other amendments to the act will eliminate any possible doubling up of recall procedures for claimants who bring action under both the Workers Compensation Act and the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act, thus ensuring greater efficiency and cost effectiveness for claimants seeking action for injuries.

Another amendment of note is the amendment to the Powers of Attorney Act to ensure that enduring powers of attorney arrangements made in other jurisdictions can be recognised in the ACT to the extent that the same powers can be given under a similar document in accordance with ACT law.

Mr Speaker, for the sake of history to some extent, if no other, I think it is worth commenting again on the Standard Time and Summer Time Act 1972, which the shadow attorney also referred to. Greenwich mean time, the basis of world time for the last century, will, on the passage of this legislation, no longer determine the time in Australia. With the passage of this legislation, as from 1 September this year all Australian jurisdictions will move to replace the measure with the more accurate coordinated universal time, UTC. With this amendment, the ACT government is today moving forward with that global trend in adopting UTC.

In 1884, Greenwich in England became the home of Greenwich mean or meridian time, GMT, which represents the average time that the earth takes to rotate from noon to noon. The name hails, obviously, from the town of Greenwich where the Greenwich meridian line at the Royal Observatory is located and which has marked the starting point of every time zone in the world.

GMT and UTC are approximately equivalent, with the difference between the two time scales being miniscule. However, rapidly advancing technology depends on the accuracy of UTC for computer programs that use high speed data transfers or universal synchronisation applications. UTC is also kept by time laboratories around the world, including the US Naval Observatory. The International Bureau of Weights and Measures also makes use of highly precise atomic clocks to provide the international standard UTC, which is accurate to approximately a nanosecond or one billionth of a second per day.

Countries worldwide, including the US, have adopted UTC and, as I indicated, all Australian jurisdictions plan to switch to UTC on 1 September 2005. However, the change will not obviously affect the actual time kept. I think it is worth noting in an historical sense that to some extent we will regret the passing of institutions such as our reliance on GMT.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 12.30 to 2.30 pm.

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