Second Reading

Resumed from 16 May.

[speeches and comments of various members]

HON ALISON XAMON (North Metropolitan) [ 3.43 pm ]: I rise on behalf of the Greens to indicate that we will also support the Statutes (Minor Amendments) Bill 2017. I just want to make a few comments. I am always pleased when I see this sort of tidy-up legislation, if you like, come into this place because it is really important to ensure that our legislation is as current and accurate as it can be. As Hon Adele Farina just commented, it can well and truly be the case that, no matter how many eyes are cast over legislation at any given point, or as legislation is amended, there will always be errors. I note that one of the errors that has been identified was a printing error, so it is important to ensure that our legislation is as accurate as possible.

I also want to thank the people who picked up the various errors and have done the work. It may seem to some members that it is not important, but I think the lawyers amongst us would agree that it is really important to make legislation as accurate as we possibly can. It is frustrating to find these errors. I should add that practitioners, law students and sometimes just interested members of the public can often find errors that have occurred. We know that it is necessary for this sort of legislation to come before Parliament at least once a year because it is inevitable that things will be missed. It would be great if there were, for example, a government website that people could log on to and note legislation in which they think minor amendments might have been identified — a shared community brains trust, if you like, to identify legal error. I can think of small errors that I picked up in the course of my duties as a legal practitioner and thought, “Oh, it’s funny that didn’t get noted — ho ho ho!” But it actually would have been useful to have had that pick-up documented somewhere and perhaps audited by people who could then identify whether in fact it was a genuine error or something that could be picked up by this sort of legislation.

I thought I would throw that out there, because often it will be government lawyers and practitioners who will pick this up, but there are many more errors in our various laws, I can assure members, and it would be useful to be able to pick these errors up as we go so that we can ensure that our statutes are as accurate as possible.

I will make a couple more comments. I just had a bit of a blast from the past when I looked at the final amendment, which deals with the Hairdressers Registration Board, and the memories of this came back. I recall the lengthy, impassioned debates that occurred when I was last in this place in a previous Parliament. I recall that I was potentially the only one who was stridently calling for the retention of the Hairdressers Registration Board, which is no more. That memory was brought back by seeing this particular amendment, and a reminder that it is finally gone.

The other comment I will make is that when this was first handed to me, before I had even read the second reading speech, I flicked through the first couple of pages and was temporarily very, very excited when I saw proposed changes to the Criminal Law (Mentally Impaired Accused) Act 1996, until I read what the amendment was, and then I was less excited. I recognise that although that is a diabolical piece of legislation — heinous, and utterly devoid of any respect for human rights — that must be urgently amended when it finally comes before this place, the sorts of amendments we need to contemplate to it will be anything but minor, and they will not be before time. I recognise that as much as I would have loved to have seen massive changes somehow find their way into that terrible piece of legislation at this time, the scope would unfortunately have been far beyond anything that could ever have been contemplated within this legislation. I am really looking forward to that legislation finally making its way into this place. I keep getting assurances that it is coming sooner rather than later. I am aware from talking to stakeholders that a number of people whom I think should be consulted are being consulted, and I give that acknowledgement. I am pleased to hear that, and I certainly hope we will see that legislation sooner rather than later.

I digress, but I wanted to make mention of that hideous act because we have seen an amendment to it in this legislation, but nothing close to what I would like to see, and I am looking forward to making that major change. On that note, I again say a thankyou to those people who find these errors and who then draft accordingly, because it is really important work. The Greens will be supporting this legislation.

[speeches and comments of various members]

Question put and passed.

Bill read a second time.


The Chair of Committees (Hon Simon O’Brien ) in the chair; Hon Sue Ellery (Leader of the House) in charge of the bill.

Clause 1: Short title —

Clause put and passed.

Clause 2: Commencement —

Hon SUE ELLERY : I move —

Page 2, lines 8 and 9 — To delete the lines and substitute —

(b) the rest of the Act — on the day after that day.

Amendment put and passed.

Clause, as amended, put and passed.

Clauses 3 to 11 put and passed.

Clause 12: Sentencing Act 1995 amended —

Hon SUE ELLERY : I move —

Page 5, line 25 — To delete the line and substitute —

Restraining Orders Act 1997 section 4(1);

This amendment corrects a typographical error otherwise known as “the great bracket scandal”. In reviewing the bill, the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office spotted a typographical error in clause 12. It contains a reference to “ Restraining Orders Act 1997 section (4)(1)”. This should read “ Restraining Orders Act 1997 section 4(1)”.

Amendment put and passed.

Clause, as amended, put and passed.

Clause 13 put and passed.

Title put and passed.


Bill reported, with amendments, and, by leave, the report adopted.


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