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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 6 December 2007) . . Page.. 4027 ..

technology, and by managing those risks through regulating certain dealings with GMOs. This amending legislation implements a number of recommendations from the review report, including introducing emergency powers giving the commonwealth minister the ability to expedite the approval of a dealing with a GMO in an emergency. These emergency powers were enacted earlier this year when an emergency dealing determination was issued to allow for the introduction into Australia of a live genetically modified vaccine to address the equine influenza outbreak.

The amending legislation will enhance the regulation of certain dealings with GMOs, again in accordance with the review report recommendations, through improving the mechanism for providing advice to the Gene Technology Regulator and to the GTMC on ethics and community consultations and through the streamlining of the process for consideration of licences.

The bill continues, however, to require the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator to prepare comprehensive risk assessments advice on applications for licences, including consideration of containment and disposal issues, before circulating the risk assessments advice to all jurisdictions for comment, prior to issuing licences for dealings with GMOs. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Burke) adjourned to the next sitting.

Human Rights Amendment Bill 2007

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.58): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Today I introduce the Human Rights Amendment Bill 2007. The bill marks a closing passage in the first chapter of the Human Rights Act, representing a reaffirmation of the foundational principles that lie behind the legislation and a consolidation of the tools and mechanisms it has established. It also marks a new emphasis on accessibility, of concepts and procedures, which reflects a reaffirmation of the government’s commitment to human rights and the ongoing process of building a human rights culture in the ACT.

The passage of this legislation will bring the ACT into line with the United Kingdom, New Zealand and, most recently, Victoria, and it is consistent with the approaches foreshadowed formally in Western Australia and informally in Tasmania.

As the very first bill of rights in Australia, the Human Rights Act incorporated into domestic law for the very first time a coherent statement of rights, and it created for the very first time a scheme for the protection of those rights. The Human Rights Act

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