Page 2042 - Week 06 - Thursday, 7 May 2009

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Schedule 2 provides for non-controversial structural amendments to the Legislation Act 2001 initiated by the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office. Structural issues are particularly concerned with making the statute book more coherent and concise and, therefore, more accessible. Strategies to achieve these objectives include avoiding unnecessary duplication and achieving the maximum degree of standardisation of legislative provisions consistent with policy requirements and operational needs.

The schedule contains several amendments, including of section 60. Section 60 ensures that legislative instruments notified on the legislation register are named correctly. It provides for names to be added to unknown instruments and sets out the limited circumstances in which the name of an instrument may be corrected to bring it into line with current legislative drafting practice. Consistent naming of instruments makes them easier for users to find, therefore enhancing, again, access to legislation.

The amendment will extend section 60 to statutory instruments added to the register under section 19(3), contents of register. That section includes provision for certain statutory amendments to be added to the register as additional material if the parliamentary counsel considers it is likely to be helpful to users of the register. The amendment will ensure that the naming conventions for legislative instruments apply also to this additional material.

Other amendments of the Legislation Act include inserting new definitions in the dictionary, part 1, for ease of reference across the statute book, and revising a number of provisions to make their meaning clearer.

Schedule 3 includes amendments to acts that have been reviewed as part of an ongoing program of updating and improving the legislation and form of legislation.

Schedule 4 repeals a number of notifiable instruments under the Environment Protection Act. The instruments still appear on the legislation register under the current heading but have served their purpose and are no longer needed. The repealed notices will still be available on the register but will appear under the repealed heading. This will ensure that only truly current instruments are included under the current heading on the register and that, as I have said earlier, makes it easier for them to be accessed.

In addition to the explanatory notes in the bill, the parliamentary counsel is of course available to provide any further explanation or information that members would like about any of the amendments made by the bill. The bill, while minor and technical in nature, is another important and ongoing building block in the development of a modern and accessible ACT statute book, one that is second to none in the country. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Independent Legal Arbiter

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (10.22): I move:

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