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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 May 2015) . . Page.. 1292 ..

Amendments to the Guardianship and Management of Property Act 1991 will require the Public Trustee, when appointed as manager of a person’s property, to provide a statement of account to the person or their guardian each year. This provides better transparency and is a good internal control measure. It could be questioned why this has been absent up until now.

Other amendments include a minor correction to the Legal Profession Act 2006, expansion of the Public Trustee’s role under the Public Trustee Act 1995 to manage a superannuation fund on behalf of a person with a disability if the person has money or property invested in the fund, and a requirement on utilities under the Utilities Act 2000 to deal with personal information in accordance with the Australian privacy principles, the credit reporting requirements of the commonwealth’s Privacy Act 1988 and the utility’s registered credit reporting code under the Privacy Act.

I commend the JACS directorate and its staff for their work in bringing these changes through. I am particularly happy to support the amendments to the Coroners Act which have been called for by a number of people who have approached the opposition over the years. As stated previously, we will support this bill.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (11.09): I will be supporting this bill today. As with the regular justice legislation amendment bills that have come before it, this bill makes several minor amendments across justice legislation. I will touch on some of the amendments briefly, as they are explained in detail in the explanatory statement and have been described already by Mr Corbell and touched on by Mr Hanson.

I note that the amendments to the ACT classification act are consequential amendments due to changes to the commonwealth classification act. I will not comment on the commonwealth policies themselves except to note that they come out of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s report on classification and content regulation.

Several technical changes to the Commercial Arbitration Act, the Coroners Act and the Court Procedures Act will ensure that, respectively: a party to an arbitration agreement will not commence proceedings in the ACAT where there is an agreement to refer the matter to arbitration to resolve the same dispute; witnesses in coronial inquests and inquiries will have privilege against self-incrimination—a change that makes us consistent with other jurisdictions; and court security staff must comply with written policies on search procedures produced by the General President of ACAT. A similar provision already exists for policies produced by the Chief Justice or Chief Magistrate.

A change to the Electoral Act will ensure that annual returns must be made available for public inspection by 7 September, after the end of the financial year to which the return relates. This will allow sufficient time, as recent amendments to the Electoral Act moved the deadline for annual returns to 31 August.

A change to the Guardianship and Management of Property Act will improve transparency by requiring the Public Trustee to provide an annual statement of account to the protected person, or their guardian, where a court or tribunal has appointed the Public Trustee as a financial manager.

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