Page 1293 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 5 May 2015

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A change to the Public Trustee Act will also allow the Supreme Court to authorise the Public Trustee to invest in superannuation in the client’s name and manage the funds on their behalf.

These changes, and the remaining minor changes in the bill, appear sensible and have my support. I am happy to vote in support of the legislation today.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Capital Metro) (11.11), in reply: I thank members for their support of this bill today. As with other JACS bills, the bill will improve the effectiveness of the ACT statute book, and the amendments in it are minor and uncontroversial. They will improve the operation of a number of the territory’s laws which fall within the Justice and Community Safety portfolio.

I note the comments of the Leader of the Opposition in relation to the opposition’s continued view that amendments such as the one made to the Coroners Act should be put forward in a separate, stand-alone bill. I would simply make the observation that such a bill would be an extremely small bill, very brief in its content. Indeed, it would consist of only one clause. It seems to me entirely unsuitable to adopt such a course of action. These are minor and uncontroversial amendments and they are best progressed through omnibus legislation rather than going through the rigmarole of developing an entirely new bill with only one amending clause.

I went through the specific provisions of the bill when I presented it on 26 March this year. Rather than repeat that, I will simply take the opportunity to comment on a number of elements. The bill contains two sets of amendments which are consequential in nature. These are amendments to the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) (Enforcement) Act and the amendments to the Electoral Act.

The amendments to the classification laws cement a commonwealth move to be more pragmatic and less bureaucratic about classification. The amendments in the bill commence at different times, reflecting the staged commencement of the amendments made to the commonwealth’s Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995, with all amendments commencing during this calendar year.

A consequential amendment to the Electoral Act provides the commissioner with an additional week to prepare lodged annual returns for public inspection. This amendment ensures that the Electoral Commissioner has sufficient time to meet the new legislative framework for annual returns while still ensuring that the information is available to constituents before the actual election to which the returns relate.

The bill also contains a number of amendments that relate to the operation of the courts and the provision of legal services. Section 53 of the Commercial Arbitration Act allows a party to stay proceedings in the Supreme Court or the Magistrates Court where there is an agreement between the parties to refer the matter to arbitration. The bill amends this section to prevent a party from commencing procedures in the ACAT if there is an agreement to refer the matter to arbitration for resolution. The

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