Page 1789 - Week 06 - Thursday, 14 May 2015

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The bill also contains transitional provisions which will ensure the smooth running and transition of the existing board to the new act. This includes carrying over registrations of veterinary surgeons and seamlessly progressing any complaints and investigations which were made or commenced under the Health Professionals Act. In particular, the transitional arrangements will ensure that the current members of the board will see out their terms of appointment whether appointed by me as minister or as elected members. I do note that, due to circumstances unrelated to the introduction of this bill, there are some vacancies and temporary arrangements in board membership which will result in some new appointments in the near future.

It is anticipated that the transition to the new act will be smooth and that the only noticeable change will be changes in the reference to the authority under which the Veterinary Surgeons Board and the profession operate. As I have mentioned, new regulations and required statutory instruments, such as those that set fees, will be remade to commence at the same time that the act will commence.

Lastly, as I have also mentioned, the bill repeals the Health Professionals Act 2004 and associated legislation as no longer required to support a territory scheme for health professional regulation.

Madam Deputy Speaker, while the new legislation will not change things dramatically on the ground, it does herald a renewed recognition of the veterinary surgeon profession. It provides occupational specific legislation and regulatory powers that are targeted to the profession. It will maintain the system of review that is based on recognised standards of practice and, through a legislatively based registration scheme, ensure that vets in the ACT are qualified and provide services which are skilled and competent.

It also provides avenues for complaints and occupational discipline which will allow breaches of professional standards or other areas of professional misconduct to be addressed. It will protect the public, users of veterinary services, and animals.

I am pleased to be able to introduce to the Assembly today this bill that gives this critical profession its own standing in legislation. The veterinary profession deserve the ability to regulate and effectively manage their profession to the highest of standards. This legislation will enable that to happen. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Coe) adjourned to the next sitting.

Road Transport Legislation Amendment Bill 2015

Mr Rattenbury, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Justice, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Transport Reform) (11.35): I move:

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