Page 4387 - Week 10 - Thursday, 23 September 2010

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Thursday, 23 September 2010

MR SPEAKER (Mr Rattenbury) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Territory Records Amendment Bill 2010

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

Title read by Clerk.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Land and Property Services, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (10.02): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Today I am tabling the Territory Records Amendment Bill 2010. This bill proposes a range of amendments to ensure that the Territory Records Act remains at the forefront of the government’s commitment to openness and accountability.

When my former colleague Mr Bill Wood introduced the Territory Records Act in 2002, he had the foresight to include a review provision in this groundbreaking legislation to ensure that the Assembly, the public service and the citizens of the ACT could continue to have confidence that this key piece of legislation was delivering to the highest of our expectations.

I presented the review of the Territory Records Act 2002 and the government’s response to this review to the Assembly on 1 July this year. Now I am able to return to give effect to the government’s response by introducing the proposed amendments to the act.

I was pleased with the findings of the review which was undertaken by an eminent records manager and archivist, Mr Paul Macpherson. Mr Macpherson stated in his introduction:

There was universal agreement that the Act was important for the people of the ACT and facilitated good administration, accountability of government to people and access to records for historical and cultural purposes. There was also universal agreement that the Act was in general operating well and its implementation and operation had not resulted in any major problems for the Territory or its people.

Of course, Mr Macpherson identified some areas where improvement was possible, and those areas that required a legislative response are before you today. One innovation is to bring the provisions of the Executive Documents Release Act 2001

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