Page 664 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 28 March 2006

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circumstance changes in a couple of years time, come back and change the legislation.” The government has adopted an attitude to this: no, everybody is potentially covered. If a specific facility is to be covered, then the minister of the day will have to make a decision, will have to exercise his discretion to apply the legislation, and it applies.

One could argue that the government has taken a particular position on this. We believe, for the sake of certainty and for the consistency of regulation, the regime should apply. We have allowed for this. We admit now that we have no intention that Fairbairn be covered by this. But circumstances change. If they do change, the regime exists, as it does in New South Wales. It is exactly the same situation there. There would be places within New South Wales which currently perhaps are not covered, but if they change the nature of their operation—the sport that is carried out there—then of course you would want a ready-made regime so that you did not have to ratchet up legislation, come back to this place, introduce it, debate it and pass it, with all that that entails. You can now, through the regime that has been put in place, deal with all of those issues. It is the preferable approach.

Whilst I concede that one could argue either way—opt in, opt out; two different approaches—the government believes that the legislation as it is now being debated is the preferable approach. But one could argue either way, almost with equal force.

Proposed new clause 33A negatived.

Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Domestic Animals (Validation of Fees) Bill 2006

Debate resumed from 16 February 2006, on motion by Mr Hargreaves:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR PRATT (Brindabella) (11.48): The opposition will most definitely be supporting the Domestic Animals (Validation of Fees) Bill 2006 which, as the minister explained in his tabling speech on 16 February, would ensure a legal basis for fees that have been collected in respect of the sale of dogs from the Domestic Animal Services Pound between 21 June 2001 and 8 February of this year. The minister explained that some technical defects meant that a series of instruments made since the commencement of the Domestic Animals Act in 2001, which determined the fee for the sale of a dog from the pound, were not legally effective.

This problem was apparently identified when the legal affairs committee last year drew Mr Hargreaves’s attention to the possibility that the fee for the sale of dogs from the pound was invalid. It is unfortunate that the problem was not picked up until now. That is the fault of two consecutive governments. But at least it has been picked up and now it is going to be rectified.

I assume the amended legislation will ensure that all people who purchased a dog from the pound or paid animal registration fees and the like between the dates in question will

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