Page 2017 - Week 07 - Thursday, 13 August 2020

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Leave granted.

MR RAMSAY: I move amendments Nos 1 to 3 circulated in my name and table a supplementary explanatory statement to the amendments [see schedule 3 at page 2028]. I have outlined, and other speakers have already outlined, the intent of the amendments. I commend them to the Assembly.

Amendments agreed to.

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

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Justice Legislation Amendment Bill 2020

Debate resumed from 10 June 2020, on motion by Mr Rattenbury:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (6.10): The Canberra Liberals will not be opposing this bill. It covers a large range of changes across a broad range of portfolio areas. Some of these changes appear to be technical but others are more substantive policy changes. I will not go into each technical change, but I will speak briefly on a couple of matters that touch on more substantive areas, particularly within my portfolio. I note that, across a range of portfolios, other members of the Liberal Party have looked at this and, other than comments from Ms Lawder, have nothing further to add to the debate.

I will refer to a couple of areas. Firstly, the changes to the Discrimination Act 1991 and the Criminal Code 2002 appear to be definition changes. However, they are worth noting. Under the new changes “sex characteristics” will mean a person’s physical features relating to sex, and include genitalia and other sexual and reproductive parts of the person’s anatomy, and the person’s chromosomes, hormones and secondary physical features emerging as a result of puberty. “Gender identity” will be defined as the gender expression or gender-related identity, appearance or mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of a person, with or without regard to the person’s designated sex at birth. Although it is a definitional change, it may in effect be more substantive than that in terms of delineating between sex and gender.

There are changes to the Fair Trading Act 1992 and the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2008 which create a change in the real-world application of those pieces of legislation. The changes will allow the Commissioner for Fair Trading to make binding conciliations for matters up to $5,000. This includes giving the commissioner the ability both to call for conciliations and to enforce any agreement reached. The commissioner is intended to act as an impartial third party to resolve matters raised. The parties themselves then decide the outcome of the conciliation, usually with advice from the commissioner.

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