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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 2 May 2006) . . Page.. 1012 ..

commonwealth’s bill to further restrict prisoners from voting in federal elections does not prevent ACT prisoners from voting in ACT elections.

A number of consequential amendments to the Electoral Act 1992 are included in the bill, which update references to the sentencing acts and the Corrections Management Bill. These amendments will further facilitate prisoners’ participation in ACT elections. The government’s sentencing acts consolidated a plethora of provisions from various acts that form the territory’s sentencing law. These diverse sources of sentencing law reflected the disjointed manner in which sentencing law has been made in the ACT. These diverse sources failed to provide easy access to the statutory provisions relating to the principles and procedures of sentencing. The various stand-alone acts, with different methods and concepts, made it a lot harder for our courts and our corrective services to apply a consistent approach to sentencing and sentence administration. The bill I have presented today tidies up the territory’s statute book in light of the acts we made last year and helps to make way for the new laws to commence. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak) adjourned to the next sitting.

Asbestos Legislation Amendment Bill 2006

Debate resumed from 30 March 2006, on motion by Ms Gallagher:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella—Leader of the Opposition) (11.05): The opposition will support this legislation. The legislation implements the recommendations of the Asbestos Taskforce to establish asbestos management practices for residential properties and those occupations that handle asbestos on a regular basis or in the course of their work. I note that the recommendations of the Asbestos Taskforce for non-residential properties are not included in this bill.

The former minister advised that these recommendations would be incorporated into amendments to the Dangerous Substances Regulation, an exposure draft of which is expected to be made available for comment later this year. Altogether, seven items of legislation are amended by this bill. The effect of the changes is an improvement on the present situation, for three reasons: first, minor maintenance work and work done by prescribed occupations on areas of less than 10 square metres of bonded asbestos will not require building approval provided it is done according to the code of practice. This means there will be fewer bureaucratic hoops, but the onus will be on the do-it-yourself home renovators as well as tradesmen to be skilled and to be responsible.

However, under the provisions to exempt jobs of less than 10 square metres of bonded asbestos from building approval, what is not clear is the extent to which, say, a job of 48 square metres can be broken up into six lots of 8 square metres each. The minister might like to enlighten us on this matter. He also might like to tell us how he intends to monitor compliance with the 10-square metre rule, and if so, how. How will he apply the rules, say, where a bathroom and laundry are adjacent, each is less than 10 square metres, but the combined job is greater than 10 square metres?

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