Page 2665 - Week 07 - Thursday, 3 July 2008
Title read by Clerk.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.45): I move:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
The Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2008 (No 2) is the 19th bill in a series of bills dealing with legislation within the justice and community safety portfolio. These bills make amendments to portfolio legislation. The bill I am introducing today makes the following amendments to the Administration and Probate Act 1929. The bill extends the time frame within which a will must be proved or probate renounced before the court intervenes from three months to six months. This brings the time frame in the act into line with the time frame reflected in the Court Procedures Rules 2006.
The bill also amends the act to recognise the status of a civil partner upon intestacy as a consequence of the Civil Partnerships Act 2008. The amendments will ensure that if one of the partners in a registered civil partnership dies without an existing will, the surviving partner will have the same entitlement to benefits which a married person would have in the same circumstances.
For the Civil Law (Sale of Residential Property) Regulation 2004, the bill amends the regulation to update references to Australian standards which building inspectors must comply with when undertaking inspection of buildings for the purposes of buying and selling property in the ACT. The bill also amends the regulation to ensure that the obligations on ACT building inspectors in the ACT do not change as a result of the update.
For the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act 2002, the bill amends the act to provide protection from civil liability for businesses that donate food for charitable purposes. While the onus is still on food donors to make sure the donated food is safe for consumption at the time of donation, this legislation will provide them with significant protection against civil action if they handle the food appropriately. This protection, however, will only apply if the food is donated to a not-for-profit charity and distributed as free food to those in need; where the food is safe to eat at the time it left the possession or control of the donor; and where the donor informs the charity receiving the food of appropriate arrangements for the safe storage and processing of the food after donation.
The proposed amendment will still enable legal action to be taken against the business where a person is harmed by the consumption of the donated food if the food was unsafe when it was received from the donor. This protection will not extend to charities or other organisations responsible for the distribution of donated food. In circumstances where a person is harmed by the consumption of the donated food, the person will be able to take legal action against the charity which distributed the food. The proposed amendment is consistent with amendments made in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.