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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 11 April 2013) . . Page.. 1516 ..

Schedule 1 of the bill amends the Health Act 1993, section 106, which provides an arbitration process to resolve matters relating to establishing core conditions for service contracts for visiting medical officers that are not resolved by negotiations under section 103 or by mediation. Section 106(5)(b) of the act is amended in schedule 1 to broaden the field from which arbitrators can be selected and clarifies the reference to “appropriate experience”.

Schedule 1 of the bill also amends the Ombudsman Act 1989, section 23(2), which provides that a person who is 65 or older must not be appointed as Ombudsman, and the appointment of an Ombudsman must not extend past the Ombudsman’s 65th birthday. The amendment is necessary to enable the ACT to appoint an Ombudsman who is, or will be, 65 during the term of the appointment. It also brings the act into line with the commonwealth’s Ombudsman Act 1976.

The Road Transport (Third-Party Insurance) Act 2008, section 72, is amended in schedule 1 to exempt a person entitled to early payment for medical expenses under chapter 3 from the requirement to comply with the 30 working days time limit under that section while the complainant is under a legal disability. This brings chapter 3 of the act into line with chapter 4.

Schedule 2 contains minor, non-controversial structural amendments of the Legislation Act initiated by parliamentary counsel. The structural issues are particularly concerned with making the statute book more coherent and concise, and therefore more accessible. Strategies to achieve these objectives include avoiding unnecessary duplication and achieving the maximum degree of standardisation of legislative provisions consistent with policy requirements and operational needs.

In this bill, the definition of “scrutiny committee principles” in the Legislation Act 2001, section 31, is amended as a consequence of a change of name in the committee.

Schedule 3 includes amendments of acts and regulations that have been reviewed as part of an ongoing program of updating and improving the language and form of legislation. These amendments are explained in the explanatory notes and are routine, technical matters such as the correction of minor errors, improving syntax and omitting redundant provisions.

In particular, amendments have been made to a number of acts and regulations to bring references to Australian standards into line with current legislative drafting practice. A number of minor amendments have also been made to the Retirement Villages Act 2012 and to a range of road transport legislation to clarify provisions, update dictionaries or bring the legislation into line with current drafting practice.

Finally, schedule 4 of the bill repeals two redundant acts. The Annual Leave Act 1973 entitled an employee to annual leave at the end of every year of the employee’s employment and regulated the taking and payment of annual leave. The Truck Act 1900 is a New South Wales law that took effect as an ACT law on the establishment of the territory. The act provides for the payment of wages to employees. Both acts have no practical effect and have been superseded by the Fair Work Act 2009 of the commonwealth.

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