Page 4796 - Week 13 - Thursday, 28 November 2019

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The Education Act establishes a compulsory education requirement that puts an onus on parents to make sure that their children are enrolled in, attend and participate in school education or are registered for home education. During consultation parents raised concerns that they could be open to prosecution if they remove their children from school education while waiting for a decision on an application for home education.

After receiving this concern, the government sought and received advice indicating that the existing provisions of the act that create offences related to compulsory education already provide parents with protection from prosecution under these circumstances. The relevant offences do not apply where a child’s parents have a reasonable excuse. This term is broadly framed.

The time period and process required to reach the point of an offence being committed are also unlikely to be met before the end of the 28 days within which the director-general is required to decide on an application for home education. However, Ms Lee’s amendment provides express clarity on this point and the government will support that amendment.

Mr Wall’s amendment No 1 to Ms Berry’s amendment No 9 agreed to.

Ms Berry’s amendments Nos 1 to 15, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Building and Construction Legislation Amendment Bill 2019

Debate resumed from 24 October 2019, on motion by Mr Ramsay:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR PARTON: (Brindabella) (4.51): Building quality is an important issue in the ACT, as it is right around the country. Getting to the root of the problems that have surfaced in this space is a very big job, and I acknowledge that Mr Ramsay and his team in various directorates have done a lot of great work. This should be tripartisan policy because it is so important for us to improve building quality and to restore confidence to consumers. This bill has within it a lot of positive changes that will lead us in that direction. I can report that there is much in this bill that everyone in this chamber will agree on totally. But there are some other parts that we think are flawed or potentially flawed, and we are not the only ones.

During the whirlwind inquiry into this bill, conducted by the economic development and tourism committee, we heard some major concerns about it from industry. We certainly heard of some major legal concerns. This bill effectively changes company law. I know that it would be easy for Mr Ramsay, if he were here, and it will be easy for Mr Gentleman to just take a cheap political shot. In fact, I have already heard

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