Page 3896 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 29 October 2013

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We seem to have a situation where nationally this is seen as non-contentious, and it has been worked on extensively, and then we have some local concerns that have been expressed. I do not think that invalidates the fact that it is going through in this legislation this morning.

I was surprised to first find out about this on the floor this morning. The nature of this place is such that if Mr Hanson had some concerns he might have flagged those with me in advance so we could have had a serious look at the issue. That is perhaps something that members may want to think about for future reference. I will be supporting the 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) (11:01), in reply: I thank members for their support of this bill, although I note the comments made by Mr Hanson. What I would say in relation to Mr Hanson’s comments is that the bill is designed to provide for the resolution of a range of non-controversial, minor or technical amendments to a range of territory legislation. It is important to stress that the use of the statute law amendment bill allows an efficient mechanism to deal with these amendments rather than portfolio ministers having to bring forward individual amending bills which would be very short and would deal, effectively, with only one amendment often in each relevant act. It is much more efficient, in terms of the use of the government’s parliamentary drafting resources, for these amendments to be consolidated into a statute law amendment bill. That is what has occurred on each occasion that a statute law amendment bill has been introduced, including this one.

I think my colleague Ms Gallagher has outlined very clearly the circumstances and the nature of the amendment to which Mr Hanson has taken offence. It is clear that that amendment is minor. It has already been the subject of detailed discussions, both nationally and locally, and is part of broader national reform arrangements. Further, it is not an amendment that establishes a new regime per se in relation to the recognition and role of midwives. It simply facilitates a mechanism that would involve, in and of itself, further consultation.

That said, this SLAB bill is an important mechanism to improve the overall quality of the ACT’s statute book. The amendments in it—dealing with everything from the education and care services national law through to the public health regulation under the Public Health Act, the health practitioner regulation national law and, finally, the definitions of Standards Australia—are all designed to improve the overall operation of the territory’s statute book. They are an appropriate and effective use of the SLAB legislation, instead of individual directorates having to progress individual portfolio bills through their relevant ministers.

I would like to express my ongoing appreciation for members’ continuing support for the technical amendments program. The technical amendments program is a good example of the territory demonstrating how to maintain a modern, high quality, up-to-date and easily accessible statute book. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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