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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 February 2016) . . Page.. 67 ..

Political difficulty, however, is very, very high, possibly 11 out of 10, which is why nobody other than in the ACT has attempted it.

I thank the Prime Minister for his policy tick and for his tick on my government’s political courage to take on the right policy decision for this territory, to campaign for it and to continue to deliver reform in spite of the cheap opportunism of those opposite. I will take that endorsement from the Prime Minister for our budget strategy, for our tax reform agenda.

I can advise members in concluding that the 2015-16 ACT budget review contains no new spending initiatives. Therefore, there is no need for a supplementary appropriation bill in this fiscal year. I commend the government’s economic policy agenda and the 2015-16 budget review to the Assembly.

Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee

Report 5—government response

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Capital Metro, Minister for Health, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for the Environment and Climate Change) (3:29): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee—Report 5—Inquiry into the Human Rights Amendment Bill 2015—Government response.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

I am pleased to present to the Assembly the government response to the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety report No 5 of 2015—Inquiry into the Human Rights Amendment Bill 2015. The government welcomes the report.

I introduced the Human Rights Amendment Bill 2015 into the Assembly in March last year. In summary, the bill extends the obligations on public authorities to act and make decisions in accordance with civil and political rights in the Human Rights Act to also apply to the right to education—an economic, social and cultural right; includes a note about the rights to protection of family and children in section 11 to make it clear that children enjoy all rights in the Human Rights Act in their own right, not just a right to protection within the family; and, thirdly, includes amendments to the rights of cultural minorities in section 27 of the Human Rights Act to include the unique and distinct cultural rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

On 7 May, members gave the bill in-principle support but referred it to the committee for inquiry and report. The chair, Mr Doszpot, tabled the committee’s report in October last year. The government thanks the committee and those who made submissions and representations to the inquiry for their engagement with this important issue and for recognising that this bill represents significant progress for the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural rights.

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