Page 349 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 12 February 2013

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Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee

Scrutiny report 2

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition): I present the following report:

Justice and Community Safety (Legislative Scrutiny Role)—Standing Committee—Scrutiny Report 2, dated 4 February 2013, together with the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I seek leave to make a brief statement.

Leave granted.

MR HANSON: Scrutiny report 2 contains the committee’s comments on eight bills, two government responses and government amendments to the Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 (No 2). The report was circulated to members when the Assembly was not sitting.

In its first report to this Assembly the committee commented on the inclusion of a clause in the Health (National Health Funding Pool and Administration) Bill 2012 which stated that a particular section had effect despite anything in another territory law. That would include, of course, an act that came into force after the commencement of that act. Not for the first time, the committee has noted that the inclusion of such a provision is misleading. No act of the Assembly or subordinate law can limit the power of this or a future Assembly to enact legislation that is inconsistent with a statute or subordinate law.

The Minister for Health responded that this type of provision is commonly used in legislative drafting to make it clear that any provision of the type foreshadowed has the force of law and prevails over other territory laws in the event of any inconsistency. Whilst the committee appreciates the aim of the provision, nonetheless the wording used purports to provide for something that, in the committee’s opinion, plainly cannot happen and therefore is misleading. The committee again requests that the government desist from using such a provision in legislation or, alternatively, include a provision which more accurately reflects the power of the Assembly. I commend the report to the Assembly.

Racing Amendment Bill 2012

Debate resumed from 29 November 2012, on motion by Ms Burch:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10.16): The opposition will be supporting this bill today. The local racing industry is very keen to see that it is in place so that the benefits from the bill are actually available in March for the Black Opal. The feedback I have received has been positive—namely, the prospect for clubs to increase their prize money and to better position the ACT as a competitive racing venue. With that in mind, the Canberra Liberals will be supporting this bill.

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