Page 253 - Week 01 - Thursday, 29 November 2012

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The bill amends the definitions of “vagina” and “sexual intercourse” to ensure that the ACT’s approach to sexual offences is contemporary and consistent with the approach in other jurisdictions. Amendments in this bill provide that a court must allow a victim impact statement to be read aloud where the maker of the statement wishes and where a person would be entitled to provide evidence by audiovisual link in a sexual or violent offence proceeding. That person can also provide a victim impact statement by audiovisual link in the same proceeding.

A number of amendments are made to the operation of serious drug offences as well as creating a new offence of possessing a tablet press. The bill will also enable courts to better consider an offender’s engagement with alcohol and drug treatment and referral services at sentencing.

This bill provides tangible benefits for justice stakeholders, the operation of the ACT’s criminal justice system and the wider ACT community. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Directors Liability Legislation 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, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (10.08): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Directors Liability Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 amends a range of ACT laws to ensure that company director liability is appropriately cast. These amendments are part of a package of 27 deregulation priorities agreed to by the ACT government under the seamless national economy national partnership agreement made by the Council of Australian Governments in 2008. The seamless national economy reforms aim to promote competition, boost productivity, improve labour mobility and reduce business compliance costs by removing unnecessary or inconsistent regulation. These amendments to directors’ liability provisions in the ACT will achieve a nationally consistent and principled approach to the imposition of personal criminal liability of company directors and other corporate officers for corporate fault.

COAG has developed an agreed set of principles and guidelines for directors’ liability. These principles were used by each jurisdiction to conduct a thorough audit of their respective statute books. The ACT’s audit was completed and provided to the Prime Minister in June this year. This bill represents the results of that audit. The uniform principles and guidelines agreed to by all jurisdictions will be followed by legislative drafters in the future to ensure consistency is maintained going forward.

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