Page 2139 - Week 07 - Thursday, 16 May 2013

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Statute Law Amendment Bill 2013

Debate resumed from 11 April 2013, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SESELJA (Brindabella) (12.07): The Canberra Liberals will support this bill. It is important for there to be regular and timely checks of our legislation to ensure that it is consistent with modern statutory interpretation principles and provides clear direction to citizens and judiciary on the implementation of the law.

This particular statute law amendment bill provides non-controversial technical changes to a number of laws. However, there are a few minor amendments. This includes a change to the Health Act 1993 where section 106(5)(b) is amended to allow a wider field of potential arbitrators for the resolution of visiting medical officer negotiations. The Ombudsman Act 1989 will be amended to allow people who are 65 years of age during the term of the appointment to continue to serve instead of their term expiring on their 65th birthday. The Road Transport (Third-Party Insurance) Act 2008 will be amended to exempt a person entitled to early payment for medical expenses from the requirement to comply with the 30 working days’ time limit under that section while the complainant is under a disability.

Whilst these changes are minor, they are important and will, therefore, have our support.

MR RATTENBURY (12.08): The Greens support this bill as it makes a series of minor and technical amendments that will clean up and improve the ACT statute books. In terms of technical amendments, as these statute law amendment bills regularly do, the bill corrects minor errors, brings language in line with common or new drafting practice and adds notes for clarity. These corrections are made across some 50 acts but also repeal acts which no longer have any practical effect in the ACT—the Truck Act and the Annual Leave Act.

The bill also makes several minor amendments which I am satisfied are sensible and uncontroversial. The bill will expand the field of arbitrators that can be used under the Health Act 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. And the bill also amends the Ombudsman Act so that the Ombudsman can be someone who is or will be 65 during the term of the appointment. This brings the ACT act in line with the commonwealth Ombudsman Act.

There are many other changes. Mr Seselja has made reference to one or two others that I had noted, but I simply conclude by indicating the Greens will support this bill today.

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) (12.09), in reply: I thank members for their support of the bill.

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