Page 1273 - Week 04 - Thursday, 21 March 2013

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Then having promised this reform, having started the work, having started the appropriation of the $41 million needed for the design work, the Chief Minister and health minister is suddenly not convinced that it should go ahead at this point in time. How much faith can we have in any of your planning for the redevelopment of the Canberra Hospital and the health system of the ACT if suddenly you are not sure that the—

Discussion concluded.

Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 (No 2)

Debate resumed from 28 February 2013, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (4.15): The Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 (No 2) is another update to the raft of legislation that is administered by the Justice and Community Safety Directorate. I am satisfied that these are appropriate amendments that will make the ACT statute book more efficient, clear and consistent. I have received useful advice on the amendments from Mr Corbell’s office and from officials in JACS, and I thank them for that.

The changes include some minor streamlining of the process for people entitled to unclaimed money through the Public Trustee by amending the Agents Act, Legal Profession Act and Unclaimed Money Act. This streamlining is a good thing, I believe, as it should assist people to receive this money in a timely way. Essentially the amendments formalise a practice that the Public Trustee is already using, and I understand that the Public Trustee requested the changes.

The bill makes some minor technical amendments to the issue of restraining orders on property under the Confiscation of Criminal Assets Act. These improve the process of registration of these orders in a court and also make some clarifications. I understand that some of these changes were initially suggested by both the Shopping Centre Council and the ACT Law Society.

Similarly, another of the changes was raised by the Legal Aid Commission. The amendment will broaden the category of legal practitioners that can be appointed to the panels and review committees of the commission. Currently it is unnecessarily restrictive, and the new categories will be similar to the approach already taken in New South Wales and Victoria.

I will also mention the minor amendment to the Unit Titles (Management) Act 2011. This amendment addresses an issue that has arisen due to the misinterpretation by some of the provisions about sinking fund plans. It has resulted in some owners corporations struggling to get levy contributions from some unit owners. On that basis, it is a necessary amendment to clarify that situation. That is an issue that has been raised with me by unit title owners at times, and I am pleased to see this amendment coming through.

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