Page 3908 - Week 12 - Thursday, 29 October 2015

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MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (5.12): Dr Bourke has given a reasonable summary there. There are three recommendations. Latimer House is certainly something the Assembly has committed to. There are some 10 recommendations from the review itself. A number of them talk about additional resources to make sure that this happens. Some talk about a review. Some talk about protocols for all the parties; they suggest that perhaps more legislation should go to committees, for instance. The committee has come up with three recommendations, and I commend the report to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee

Report 5

MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo) (5.13): I present the following report:

Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee—Report 5—Inquiry into the Human Rights Amendment Bill 2015, dated 27 October 2015, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I move:

That the report be noted.

Today I rise to speak to the motion that the Assembly take note of the report by the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety on the Human Rights Amendment Bill 2015. This has been an important and challenging inquiry. Human rights are a part of our legal framework, and the Assembly must be well informed when there are proposals for change.

As the report states, in the course of the inquiry the committee came to the view that extensions to rights proposed in the bill—Indigenous rights, the right to education, and children’s rights—were measures which would extend rights in useful ways.

In particular, the committee noted the representations regarding Indigenous rights. Indigenous representatives made powerful statements to the committee on the significance of changing the Human Rights Act to create explicit rights in this area. Representations from Victoria added to this, showing what had happened in Victoria when Indigenous cultural rights were created by the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities. This helped the committee to assess risks and benefits in creating such rights in the ACT.

On the basis of representations made to the committee, and as a result of its deliberations, the committee recommended that all of the clauses in the bill be supported by the Assembly.

However, less pleasing was the fact that the committee found significant gaps in the information provided on the bill. These were deficiencies of both quality and quantity

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