Page 4097 - Week 13 - Thursday, 31 October 2013

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Mr Hanson interjects that he did not sign the parliamentary agreement. That may be the case, but it is quite clear that there is an understanding of how the Assembly can operate and it is quite clear that, as a member of the Greens party, I have the capacity to bring issues forward in this place as I see fit. The rules have been set out clearly for that. If there is any uncertainty about the operation of the rules, I am certainly happy to discuss clarification of the standing orders if that will make it easier for members of the Liberal Party, who do seem to be struggling with it.

Let me close my remarks by reflecting on the issues at hand. We do have in the ACT young people who are struggling with learning to read. This is a very significant issue. The figures I cited during my speech, which I will not repeat now but which I think give us all pause for thought, are very sobering. They point to the significant issue that our community faces in dealing with this.

I thank Ms Burch and her colleagues for their support of this motion. I welcome the fact that the minister is taking this seriously. And I look forward to hearing the progress report so that all members in this place might be informed on what is an important issue for many members of our community.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Executive business—precedence

Ordered that executive business be called on.

Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 (No 4)

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) (11.56): The Liberal opposition will be supporting the fourth JACS legislation amendment bill 2013. This bill makes a number of minor, non-controversial amendments to legislation administered by the JACS Directorate. Five acts are amended. I will comment briefly on a couple of the amendments.

There are changes to the Coroners Act and the magistrates act to streamline conclusion of a matter on foot in which the appointed coroner or magistrate no longer holds that post or is unavailable to complete the hearing. This will provide more certainty for the people who are involved in matters that would otherwise come to a standstill.

In saying this, however, I do note that it is open for the new coroner or magistrate to deal with a part-heard matter as they see fit. This could include hearing the matter afresh, which will add cost and additional stress to those involved. We will monitor this element and review it if it becomes too cumbersome for those involved. I note

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