Page 1503 - Week 04 - Thursday, 29 March 2012

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colleagues went so far as to say that they would repeal the act given the chance. Eight years later, we would surely all agree that the Human Rights Act is a vital part of our processes which makes a significant contribution towards developing and strengthening the rule of law and democracy in the territory.

The reality is that while Australia is a great country, most of the time, human rights protections in Australia are ad hoc and incomplete. We owe it to the most vulnerable to stand up and say, “You will not be forgotten; your future is important to the future of the territory.” We owe it to ourselves to stand up and publicly declare that there are some basic principles which must be recognised as fundamentally inherent in the lives of all of our citizens.

These principles, like the right to education, are central pillars of our society. As is recognised in the Vienna declaration, rights do not operate in isolation, and we cannot protect them in isolation. Since enacting the Human Rights Act in 2004, we have seen a shift across government and across our community towards incorporating human rights into our everyday activities. This bill the government is introducing today will continue that process of promotion and further grow the human rights culture in the ACT.

I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Seselja) adjourned to the next sitting.

Statute Law Amendment Bill 2012

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 Police and Emergency Services and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (10.34): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Statute Law Amendment Bill 2012 makes statute law revision amendments to ACT legislation under guidelines for the technical amendments program approved by the government. The program provides for amendments that are minor or technical, and non-controversial. They are generally insufficiently important to justify the presentation of separate legislation in each case and may be inappropriate to make as editorial amendments in the process of republishing legislation under the Legislation Act 2001. The program is implemented by presenting a statute law amendment bill such as this in each sitting of the Assembly and including further technical amendments in other amending legislation where appropriate. This year, given the election, there is likely to be only one statute law amendment bill.

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