Page 4460 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 30 October 2018

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Amendments to the Rent Tribunal Act 1995 and the University of Canberra Act 1989 appear to effectively remove the power of the Rent Tribunal to determine the remuneration allowances and other entitlements of a member of the University of Canberra Council. From my research and information provided by the attorney’s office, this follows the actual practice of the university since 2015 and removes a redundant process from the legislation. Amendments to the Workers Compensation Act 1951 reinstate an entitlement to compensation that was inadvertently removed by a previous amendment, and addresses that the retirement age is no longer a fixed age. So this is a fix-up.

Turning to schedule 3, the technical amendments, it contains minor or technical amendments of legislation initiated by the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office. Each amendment is explained in an explanatory note in the schedule. These are confined to updating language, adding notes, improving syntax, omitting redundant provisions, and other minor changes to update or improve the form of legislation.

Schedule 4, the repeal of redundant or obsolete legislation, repeals the Health Regulation 2004, which is consequential to the change in description of “authorised nurse practitioner” amended in schedule 1.

As is our usual practice, consultation was conducted with the legal profession. No adverse comments have been received. As is our usual practice, we support the ongoing improvement and refinement of our body of statute law and recognise the need for timely updating when required. These amendments fit these requirements. As I indicated, we will support this legislation.

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra) (12.06): I rise to join, I think, the entire chamber to support the Statute Law Amendment Bill 2018. As Mr Hanson noted, it is a bill that improves the quality of statute law in the ACT by amending and repealing legislation.

The ACT’s statute book might not be a riveting page-turner among the likes of Harry Potter or a Stephen King thriller—maybe it is for some—but it is important. The ACT statute book, as Mr Hanson also said, is all the ACT legislation taken as a body of law. A statute book that is kept up to date is one that enhances access to legislation. It means it is easier to find, easier to read and easier to understand. Statute law amendment bills like this one make technical amendments to ensure that the territory’s laws reflect the changes in society and the changes in technology.

The Statute Law Amendment Bill 2018 is part of the ACT’s technical amendments program for legislation. This is a program which provides greater flexibility in drafting amendments for the revision of statute law, minimising costs and boosting efficiency. These amendments and repeals individually might seem small but cumulatively they have a significant impact on the ACT’s statute book. Cumulatively they can have a significant impact on the quality of ACT law as a whole. The Statute Law Amendment Bill 2018, when enacted, will make the ACT statute book simpler, more consistent and more coherent.

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