Page 254 - Week 01 - Thursday, 29 November 2012

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The amendments in this bill do not affect direct or “accessory” liability of company directors. Company directors who are directly involved in the commission of an offence or play an accessorial role should be accountable and will continue to be criminally liable. This bill is instead focused on deemed liability provisions—that is, provisions which impose personal criminal liability on company directors as a consequence of their company, usually an employee, breaking the law.

Deemed liability is kept where there are compelling public policy reasons for doing so. Liability of the corporation is not likely on its own to sufficiently promote compliance and it is reasonable in all the circumstances for the director to be liable having regard to factors such as clarity of obligations, capacity to influence conduct of the corporation and whether reasonable steps can be taken to ensure the corporation’s compliance.

For instance, deemed liability will be kept where an offence provision is aimed at deterring serious public harm or where deemed liability of a company director is a core part of the legislative scheme and promotes compliance in areas such as public health, safety and the environment.

These reforms will reduce red tape for businesses and will better assist company directors to understand their obligations and liabilities under laws which will be more consistent across jurisdictions. I commend this bill to the Assembly.

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

Disability Services Amendment Bill 2012 (No 2)

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

Title read by Clerk.

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Disability, Children and Young People, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Women, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Racing and Gaming) (10.12): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to present the Disability Services Amendment Bill 2012 (No 2), which amends the Disability Services Act 1991. The Disability Services Amendment Bill (No 1) was tabled in the Legislative Assembly on 10 May 2012 and lapsed at the end of the Seventh Legislative Assembly. I now reintroduce the bill. The bill complements and builds upon existing legislation, allowing the Minister for Disability, Children and Young People to approve disability service standards and establish regulation making powers.

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