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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 8 June 2016) . . Page.. 1869 ..

MR BARR: Merit remains, as it should, the cornerstone—

Mr Coe interjecting—

MR BARR: Merit remains, as it should, the cornerstone of the public service, and procedural fairness remains an important feature. The bill focuses on providing an environment to support the best recruitment result for the sector.

As I mentioned earlier, one of our biggest challenges is to make sure that the legislation establishing the public sector and the public service continues to be relevant and up to date in what is, we all acknowledge, a rapidly changing environment. It is vital that we have a strong and effective public sector, and this bill enhances the legislative framework to ensure that we do.

It is clear from the interjections in my introductory speech that there will be a great deal of interest in this bill, and I commend it to the Assembly.

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

Discrimination Amendment Bill 2016

Mr Corbell, by leave, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

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) (5.13): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to present the Discrimination Amendment Bill 2016. This bill is a progressive but balanced piece of legislation, which builds on the government’s commitment to promoting an inclusive society where everyone has the opportunity to participate in, and contribute to, our community.

The bill draws on recommendations made by the ACT Law Reform Advisory Council, LRAC, following an extensive inquiry into the scope and operation of the Discrimination Act 1991. I would like to thank the council, particularly its chair, Professor Simon Rice AM, for its efforts in producing this high quality report that provides an ambitious vision for reform to discrimination law in the ACT.

The government has chosen to adopt a staged approach to considering the recommendations in the report. It is important that we do not rush reforms to this act. It is a fundamental and cross-cutting piece of legislation that gives practical effect to many of the rights in our ACT human rights law.

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