Page 52 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 14 February 2006

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rights and protections relating to enduring powers of attorney for people who subsequently become incapacitated persons. The bill will also provide explicit powers for the Guardianship and Management of Property Tribunal and the Supreme Court in relation to matters arising under the substitute decision making scheme.

To progress social justice, the Civil Unions Bill 2006 will provide for two people, regardless of gender, to enter into a formally recognised union that attracts the same legal status and formal recognition as marriage under the laws of the ACT. A civil union involves formal recognition of a domestic partnership through recording the intention of two people to be domestic partners within a civil union. An ACT civil union scheme will allow a couple to establish a domestic partnership by making a formal declaration of their intention to be domestic partners before the Registrar-General or an authorised celebrant and will provide immediate and indisputable evidence of the existence of that partnership.

Legislation will be required to support the ACT’s foreshadowed prison, the Alexander Maconochie Centre. The Corrections Management Bill 2006 will provide the ACT with a legislative framework to enable the operation of the prison. The bill will also provide the legal framework for managing prisoners and remandees within ACT correctional facilities. The bill will be drafted from the standpoint of human rights principles and jurisprudence and incorporate the methods of modern prison management.

Mr Speaker, the government will bring before the Assembly a number of measures to bring ACT health related legislation in line with that of other jurisdictions. The proposed Radiation Protection Bill 2006 will replace the current Radiation Act 1983 to ensure that radiation protection legislation conforms to national uniformity principles contained in the National Directory for Radiation Protection. The approval for uniform introduction across all jurisdictions has been endorsed by the Australian Health Ministers Council.

Amendments are proposed to the Tobacco Act 1927 to enable the conduct of controlled purchase operations for the purpose of achieving compliance with the provision of the act that prohibits the sale of tobacco products to minors. There is now overwhelming evidence that the only effective way to achieve and maintain high levels of retail compliance is through the use of CPOs.

Turning to the reform of planning laws, I advise that the government intends to table an exposure draft of new planning legislation during the first quarter of 2006, with a further intention to introduce legislation for debate in spring 2006. The legislation will address the matters identified in the government’s announced final reform directions for the planning system reform project.

Amendments also will be introduced to the Gas Safety Act and associated laws to make changes arising from the review of gas boundary codes by the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission and the ACT Planning and Land Authority, the gas technical regulator.

In August 2005, the government tabled a report by the ACT Asbestos Task Force on Asbestos Management in the ACT, together with the government’s response to the recommendations presented in that report. The task force recommended, among other things, amendments to legislation to establish asbestos management regimes for the

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