Page 42 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 25 February 2014

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In summary, a solid foundation in the provision of professional learning has been built. Professional learning underpins the recommendations in relation to a consistent systemic approach to learning difficulties and partnerships with families. The professional learning currently being undertaken is addressing the broad issues of understanding learning difficulties. This will lead to an enhanced system approach and stronger partnerships. Progress towards the implementation of the recommendation is pleasing. The work of the task force is guiding some significant work towards meeting the needs of a vulnerable group of students in ACT public schools.

Courts Legislation Amendment Bill 2013

Debate resumed from 28 November 2013, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (12.02): The Canberra Liberal opposition will be supporting the Courts Legislation Amendment Bill 2013. This omnibus bill makes a range of non-controversial amendments to five acts that manage the court system in the ACT as well as the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act.

I see no need to comment on the individual elements of this bill other than to acknowledge that they create efficiencies in our court system. Some examples of this are the amendments to the Magistrates Court Act and the Supreme Court Act which create a more streamlined system for dealing with summary offences associated with indictable offences. These amendments enable the Magistrates Court to transfer relevant summary offences to the Supreme Court.

In his presentation speech, the Attorney-General noted that these particular amendments were made following representations from the Director of Public Prosecutions. Others were recommended by the general president of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal. I commend the work of these court officials, as well as that of public servants generally, who identify practical and effective measures to improve our laws and their operations in the territory. I encourage all public servants to be on the constant lookout for such opportunities. They are the ones at the coalface; they see the pitfalls and the gaps. We in this place should listen to them and pass legislation where it is appropriate to do so.

We will be supporting this bill.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (12.04): I am happy to support the Courts Legislation Amendment Bill on behalf of the ACT Greens. It makes several changes across the statute book to improve the efficiency of ACT courts and tribunals. The regular refinement of the legislation governing the ACT’s judicial process is a worthy exercise in the quest for a well-functioning judicial system and as practical matters arise that need to be addressed. Professionals who work in the system also regularly make suggestions for improvements based on their day-to-day experiences.

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