Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 August 2008) . . Page.. 2885 ..
extreme and, as Mr Bain outlines, raises human rights concerns. I was assured in the briefing that the issuing of warrants by the tribunal in this case is not actually impacting anything significantly in practice. They are just making the process more efficient, and that detention, if it occurs, will only be for very short periods. I hope that this is going to be monitored and that any problems will be brought to the attention of the minister so that the necessary changes can be made if required.
In regard to the changes to the Regulatory Services Legislation Amendment Act, I do agree that allowing a greater time frame for consultation with the affected parties is necessary. I do wonder though why this consultation should not occur before the changes are brought to the Assembly and passed. Will there be amendments made arising from the negotiations with the consumer and business groups? Or will this simply be another example of the government talking to people but not listening? Maybe, given the government’s renewed commitment to community consultation, as shown by the citizens-centred governance paper recently released, the government does actually intend to listen to the voters—I mean, citizens—this time. I will be supporting this bill.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4.55), in reply: I thank members for their support of this legislation. All legislation, over time, needs to be refined to accommodate a changing social environment, and the JACS bill is an appropriate mechanism to ensure that legislation in the ACT remains reactive to the changing social needs of our community.
The bill makes amendments to the Administration and Probate Act, Agents Act, Civil Law (Sale of Residential Property) Regulation, Civil Law (Wrongs) Act, Crimes Act, Crimes (Restorative Justice) Act, Discrimination Act, Legal Professional Act, Legal Profession Regulation, Magistrates Court Act and Regulatory Services Legislation (Amendment) Act. Of particular note are the amendments to the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act 2002, which a number of members have mentioned. They will provide protection from civil liability to businesses that donate food for charitable purposes.
The proposed amendments will provide significant protection against civil action for businesses provided they have handled food appropriately before donation to charities. The 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 and the food is safe to eat at the time it leaves the possession or control of the donor and 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 or organisation if a person is harmed by the consumption of the donated food because the food was unsafe when it was received from the donor. The protection does not extend to charities or other organisations responsible for the distribution of donated food. Therefore, where a person is harmed by the consumption of the donated food, that person will be able to take legal action against the charity that distributed the food. The proposed amendment providing protection to food donors is consistent with amendments made in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia and recently introduced in South Australia.