Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 03 Hansard (Thursday, 19 March 2015) . . Page.. 908 ..
styles throughout those years. It is important to maintain a minimum consistent standard in presentation and cohesion between legislation coming from different sources at different times so that better access to and understanding of the law is achieved.
This bill, therefore, deals with three kinds of matters: schedule 1 provides for minor noncontroversial amendments proposed by a government agency that require the approval of the Chief Minister; schedule 2 contains amendments of the Legislation Act 2001 proposed by the Parliamentary Counsel to ensure the overall structure of the statute book is cohesive and consistent and is developed to reflect best practice; and schedule 3 contains technical amendments proposed by the Parliamentary Counsel to correct typographical or clerical errors, improve language, omit redundant provisions, include explanatory notes and otherwise update or improve the form of the legislation.
The bill, as usual, contains a large number of minor amendments with detailed explanatory notes. It would not be useful for me to go through all of them now, but I will mention a few matters. Schedule 1 of the bill amends section 14 of the Road Transport (Third-Party Insurance) Act 2008 to enable the minister to appoint a public servant as the ACT’s compulsory third-party insurance regulator for a term of up to five years. Currently, section 14(2) of the CTP act states that the director-general administering the act is the CTP regulator. This is the currently the Director-General of the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate.
When section 14(2) was first enacted, the administering directorate was the Treasury. However, these two directorates were combined in 2012 and consequently the CTP regulator is no longer a Treasury executive with working knowledge of third-party insurance issues. Although the CTP regulator’s functions under the act are delegated to Treasury staff, the director-general remains fully accountable for the administration of the act. This is not an entirely satisfactory arrangement because insurance policy is the responsibility of the Treasurer, and the CTP act and compulsory third-party insurance policy and arrangements are the responsibility of the Under Treasurer as head of agency rather than the Director-General of the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate.
In order to improve the alignment of administrative arrangement responsibilities, section 14(2) of the CTP act is therefore proposed to be amended to remove the director-general as CTP regulator and enable the minister to appoint a public servant with appropriate knowledge and expertise as the CTP regulator. This will also enhance practical administrative efficiency and ensure that insurance policy expertise remains in one agency.
Consequential amendments are also made in schedule 3 to ensure that the CTP regulator is responsible for regulatory and administrative matters under the act instead of the director-general. Schedule 2 contains minor noncontroversial structural amendments to the Legislation Act initiated by Parliamentary Counsel. Structural issues are particularly concerned with making the statute book more coherent and concise and, therefore, more accessible. Strategies to achieve these objectives include avoiding unnecessary duplication and achieving the maximum degree of standardisation of legislative provisions consistent with policy requirements and operational needs.