Page 752 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 20 March 2018

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often, when driving from one end of Canberra to the other, getting changed in the back seat of my mother’s Ford Falcon station wagon because when I got to the ovals there were no girls playing in my soccer team. I also remember getting to the ice hockey centre at Phillip and having to wait until the boys finished training or playing so that we could then go in and get changed because there were not the facilities.

As Minister Berry has already expressed, being able to provide grants to women’s and girls’ sport here in the ACT means that we can continue to ensure that girls progress and continue to play sport as they grow and mature and that there are going to be fewer barriers. I commend the ACT government for all the work they do. I thank Ms Cheyne for raising this matter of public importance today.

Discussion concluded.

Courts and Other Justice Legislation Amendment Bill 2018

Debate resumed from 22 February 2018, on motion by Mr Ramsay:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (4.23): The Canberra Liberals will be supporting this bill. It amends numerous pieces of legislation, including the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2008, the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Regulation 2009, the Children and Young People Act 2008, the Coroners Act 1997, the Corrections Management Act 2007, the Crimes (Sentence Administration) Act 2005, the Evidence Act 2011 and many others. I will not go through the full list. While it does encompass a substantial list of changes, they can be unified as attempts to improve and coordinate the statute book, especially in the running and operation of our courts and tribunals.

According to the explanatory statement, the amendments are made in response to submissions from the profession and from the courts themselves. Some are in response to reported judgements calling for changes. Upon consultation, we agree that this is the case, and that is why the Canberra Liberals will support the changes. I will, however, briefly identify some key aspects, including some brief notes that may benefit from ongoing observation and monitoring by the Assembly and by the profession.

Those include several changes to clarify the processes of ACAT. Of note in this instance is the amount payable in ACAT under an occupational discipline order and to include that the recovery of an expense by an owners corporation for a units plan can include reasonable legal expenses. I draw the Assembly’s attention to some of the representations I received prior to seeing this bill that increased limits such as this may diminish the overarching intention that ACAT be a no-cost jurisdiction. It can give rise to an imbalance, with individuals representing themselves against an opponent with a full legal team. However, this is balanced by the fact that if the limit was set too low, parties would be forced into a far more complex and costly jurisdiction on minor matters. As I say, I bring this matter to the attention of the Assembly for noting and monitoring.

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