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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 29 November 2018) . . Page.. 5144 ..

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (5.24): The Greens support this as well. We think it is good to have a locked-in start date. If there are unavoidable delays with recruitment, as the Chief Minister has flagged, we can revisit this at a later time. I think it is best to set a time frame so we know what the start date is.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.24): Along with everybody else I support this amendment, I want to flag the issue of whether you, Madam Speaker, can legally act to recruit before the commencement date and whether after you recruit a commissioner the commissioner can legally act to appoint a CEO et cetera down through that. While I support the amendment I ask the government to consider whether they will have to separately commence parts 1 and the early parts of part 2, chapter 2.

MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (5.25): My very diligent adviser has just texted a response to that very question, Mrs Dunne, and she advises that under section 81 of the Legislation Act it will be possible.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 2, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 3 to 7, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 8.

MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (5.26): I move amendment No 2 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 5200]. This amendment seeks to prevent the legislation unduly restricting the commission from looking into matters that involve judicial officers. In practice the commissioner will likely dismiss the complaints that only involve the merits of a decision made by a judicial officer, an order made by a judicial officer or a judgement given by a judicial officer. However, there may be occasions where these matters intersect, for example, where a judgement is undermined or influenced by corrupt conduct or behaviour of a judicial officer or another person.

Whilst we are not talking about the decision in isolation; we are talking about when that decision has been influenced by something else. We do not want to risk unintentionally restricting the commissioner because the legislation requires him to dismiss complaints that relate to these circumstances. Therefore we think it is an important amendment.

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Social Inclusion and Equality, Minister for Tourism and Special Events and Minister for Trade, Industry and Investment) (5.27): The government will not be supporting Mr Coe’s amendment as this is a fundamental issue of the separation of powers. The commission cannot be investigating and calling into question judicial judgements based on only the fact that the complainant disagrees with the outcome.

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