Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 12 November 2009) . . Page.. 4998 ..
As part of the reform, the territory’s Consumer Credit Act 1995 will be replaced by a national consumer credit code. The national consumer credit code, however, leaves room for states and territories that already have limits on interest rates to preserve them. This bill would preserve the territory’s limits on the interest that may be charged to consumers for a credit contract. The law and regulation that provide the limit will be transferred from the Consumer Credit Act to the Fair Trading Act. This simple transfer will ensure that, when the national legislation replaces the territory Consumer Credit Act, consumers will still be protected from unfair and extreme interest rates.
The remaining amendments in this bill update references to renumbered and renamed legislation, make transitional provisions permanent, and remove duplicate provisions. These simple reforms introduce no policy changes. Instead, they ensure that the amended legislation is effective and easy to administer.
Mr Rattenbury gave notice that there were issues which he would require some additional clarification on. I had sought to do that, though I have just been provided with some additional information in relation to a couple of aspects that were, most specifically, gone to by Mr Rattenbury in his comments—to respond to his interest in those particular matters.
I will read some additional advice which I have just been provided by officers. The first issue is about the Court Procedures Act, an issue raised by Mr Rattenbury, seeking clarification. The advice reads:
… it is a policy change to broaden search and screening to apply generally and some of the reasoning behind that decision …
I will provide some further advice. Some of this does not have context to me, Mr Rattenbury; I am sorry. The simple advice that I can provide is this:
Legal Advice is that the courts already have an inherent power in regard to this. The rewording of the provision is to ensure that the provision does not apply a limitation on the Courts existing inherent power …
The second matter that was raised by Mr Rattenbury went to changes to referral processes under ACAT. Mr Rattenbury said that he would welcome some additional clarification in relation to this. On that issue, the clarification I have is this:
comments made in relation to this—
refer to clause 1.7, which amends section 85 of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act.
The explanatory statement does not call this amendment a clarification. It is described clearly as a change in tribunal procedures.