Page 2350 - Week 06 - Thursday, 23 June 2011

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These reforms together will provide greater clarity to owners and managers of unit titles about their rights and obligations and will enhance measures to improve the sustainability of the ACT’s housing stock. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Coroners Amendment Bill 2011

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

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.32): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to introduce today the Coroners Amendment Bill 2011, which will amend the Coroners Act 1997.

This bill flows from a detailed review of the operation of the coronial system in the ACT. It is the product of a comprehensive and lengthy consultation process, which began with public comments on a discussion paper and ended with 15 proposals for change that were developed through discussions with a working group of experts and community representatives.

The amendments in this bill, together with a range of important administrative changes, will significantly improve the operation of the ACT’s coronial system, particularly for the families of deceased people.

In the ACT, coroners investigate the manner and cause of death of people who have died in particular circumstances. ACT coroners also investigate the cause, origin and circumstances of fires and disasters. The functions, powers and jurisdiction of coroners are set out in the Coroners Act 1997.

The government made a commitment to review the act after the December 2006 release of Coroner Maria Doogan’s report into the 2003 Canberra firestorm. Coroner Doogan made a range of specific recommendations about reform of the act and the arrangements for conducting inquests and inquiries and also recommended a review of the jurisdiction of the coroner. This bill also responds to a number of areas of concern raised in connection with several recent and significant coronial inquiries.

The review inquired into the effectiveness of the act and considered whether it provides an appropriate framework for:

the making of recommendations for the prevention of death and injury; and

the provision of support to families and others affected by a death subject to a coronial investigation.

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