Page 2852 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 19 September 2006

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For those reasons, the government believes that the issues raised appropriately by the scrutiny committee have been dealt with appropriately in the government’s approach to the introduction of this new scheme.

Mr Speaker, I thank members for their interest in this bill and for their support of what I think is a quite significant continuing reform of our processes.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Civil Law (Property) Bill 2005

Debate resumed from 24 November 2005, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra—Leader of the Opposition) (11.26): Mr Speaker, this bill, which has resulted from some reforms that started 10 years or so ago, concludes stage 1 of the reform process. It provides for a single law that consolidates the provisions of the existing law. According to the government, this will reduce fragmentation and unnecessary complexities of the law. It will reduce confusion and uncertainty as to which laws apply in territory and as to what the law is. It seeks to eliminate redundant, irrelevant and inappropriate legislation, reduce archaic language and rationalise drafting styles and techniques. Some of the laws it repudiates are, indeed, quite ancient. Some of the laws—indeed, most of them—go back to the 19th century and early 20th century. What we have before us is stage 1 of the process.

Mr Speaker, neither the bill nor the amendments, which the opposition will be supporting as well, are controversial. It has taken a fair amount of time to get to this stage. I think stage 2 will quite possibly be somewhat more controversial. The key players have been consulted in respect of the bill that is now before us and certainly they do not have any particular problems with it. I have discussed the bill with a number of players such as the Law Society of the ACT, who are quite comfortable with it. Stage 2 will perhaps be more problematic because this will involve reform of some of the law of property.

I am pleased to see that the Attorney-General says there will be wide consultation with the key players, especially the commercial and retail interests that might be affected by the reforms and, of course, the law society. The government may well find that stage 2 will be a lot more controversial than stage 1, which is basically an updating and consolidation of existing acts into one bill. The opposition supports the bill.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (11.29): As the Chief Minister articulated at the end of last year when this bill was introduced, this is the first stage of a modernising project to bring all the property law as it applies in the ACT into the one act. While that does involve the

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