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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 6 August 2015) . . Page.. 2442 ..

bulk requests for preliminary discovery, very few matters were proceeding to court. It appears that some operators instead used the preliminary discovery process not with a genuine intention to seek damages through the courts but instead to support a business model of posting mass demands to customers and relying on a proportion of them paying.

Before passing similar legislation, New South Wales had to hand over tens of thousands of registration details to private firms. What are the firms doing with these details now? We do not know. They may be shared with other companies. Certainly many people received pseudo infringement notices from car parking companies in an effort to recover money. I am told that in Victoria the ability of private companies to obtain private data saw the emergence of essentially rogue car parking operators who would advertise free three-hour parking but with fine print that charged exorbitant prices if someone overstayed by even one minute. A car with a camera drives around scanning every numberplate and entering them into a database and presumably uses discovery later to access personal details and send fines to the registered owners. This is not the kind of practice we would accept in the ACT.

Mr Hanson also made the observation that this proposed amendment has not been to the scrutiny committee, and I have been very open in acknowledging that. Because of the late-breaking nature of this issue, it has not been possible to draft it in time to have it sent to the scrutiny committee. However, I note that it went to the scrutiny committee in Victoria where no comment was made.

That is relevant because Victoria is a human rights jurisdiction, as is the ACT. We address the human rights issues in the explanatory statement, and we have made that information available to the opposition as well in seeking to be up-front about the fact that this is being introduced at late notice but for quite important reasons, as I have outlined in my remarks today.

I conclude by saying that this amendment is about ensuring community confidence in the ability of the government to protect personal information, discouraging undesirable and in some cases unscrupulous business models and strengthening consumer protection more generally in the territory. These are important objectives that this amendment seeks to deliver. I commend the amendment to the Assembly to make sure that the ACT is on the front foot with this so our citizens do not suddenly find as a result of court action that the government has been unable to protect their private information.

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (12.27): I refer members to the comments I made in the in-principle stage. The opposition will not be supporting this late-notice amendment.

Question put:

That the amendment be agreed to.

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