Page 3655 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 21 November 2006

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Tuesday, 21 November 2006

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional owners, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Legal Affairs—Standing Committee

Scrutiny report 35

MR SESELJA: I present the following report:

Legal Affairs—Standing Committee (performing the duties of a Scrutiny of Bills and Subordinate Legislation Committee)—Scrutiny Report 35, dated 20 November 2006, together with the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I seek leave to make a brief statement.

Leave granted.

MR SESELJA: Scrutiny report 35 contains the committee’s comments on one bill, 24 pieces of subordinate legislation and three government responses. The report was circulated to members when the Assembly was not sitting. I commend the report to the Assembly.

Powers of Attorney Bill 2006

Debate resumed from 21 September 2006, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra—Leader of the Opposition) (10.31): I note we are not debating this bill cognately with another bill. That is fine. The opposition will be supporting this bill. We will have one amendment.

The genesis of the Powers of Attorney Bill was an inquiry back in 2001 into elder abuse in the 2001 Assembly—before the previous government. As a result of that, some recommendations were made to address the abuse of older people’s power of attorney.

Those recommendations were the impetus for a review which the current government commenced. An issues paper for that review was released in March 2004. The bill is the outcome of that review of substituted decision making in the ACT.

It was considered that these recommendations could be addressed by reviewing the entire scheme of powers of attorney. The review covered directives a person could give in advance about the type of medical treatment that may or may not be given during the time a person would not have decision-making capacity—ie, advanced health directives.

Advanced health directives, I understand, will be considered for later legislation after further consultation. That is certainly something we will be watching very carefully.

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