Page 3879 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 29 October 2013

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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

MADAM SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne) took the chair at 10 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional custodians, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee

Statement by chair

MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo): Pursuant to standing order 246A I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety performing its legislative scrutiny role.

Disallowable Instrument DI2013-229, the Energy Efficiency (Cost of Living) Improvement (Priority Household Target) Determination 2013 (No 1), was tabled in the Assembly last Tuesday. The Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety, performing its legislative scrutiny role, has examined this instrument and has no comment to make on it.

Magistrates Court (Industrial Proceedings) Amendment Bill 2013

Debate resumed from 8 August 2013, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (10.01): At the outset let me indicate that the Canberra Liberals will be supporting this piece of legislation, the Magistrates Court (Industrial Proceedings) Amendment Bill 2013. The bill comes as part of the commitment the government made to implement the recommendations of the Getting home safely report.

The bill will establish an industrial court as a specialist court in the Magistrates Court jurisdiction, similar to the structure of the Children’s Court. The Chief Magistrate will appoint an industrial magistrate for up to four years. Flexibility is available to the Chief Magistrate when the industrial magistrate no longer holds the post, is otherwise unavailable or if potential conflicts of interest arise.

Civil matters can be referred to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court will retain jurisdiction for serious criminal offences such as industrial murder or manslaughter and for civil matters above $250,000. The ACAT’s jurisdiction remains unchanged. The industrial court will hold jurisdiction to deal with criminal and civil industrial work safety and workers compensation matters.

Whilst we support the bill, I note that a similar outcome could have been achieved administratively. The question does need to be asked: what contribution will a separate industrial court make in reducing the incidence of workplace injury in the

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