Debates Day 6 - Thursday 28 October 2010
Parliamentary Record 15
Debates for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Thursday 28 October 2010 could have been undertaken by the Consumer Affairs Council. Nearly all other jurisdictions have abolished legislatively created bodies such as the Consumer Affairs Council. The Consumer Affairs Council has had no membership since 2007. It is appropriate the legislative provisions establishing the Consumer Affairs Council be repealed. The bill also repeals uncommenced amendment to the CAFTA made by the Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading Amendment Act of 2006. These uncommenced provisions expanded the door-to-door trading provisions of Part 7 of CAFTA to telemarketing. These matters are now dealt with in the ACL, and it is appropriate these uncommenced provisions be repealed along with the rest of Part 7 of CAFTA. Other uncommenced amendments to CAFTA made by the 2006 amendment deal with changes to penalties in CAFTA. These changes will be redundant with the repeal of the relevant sections and the adoption of the ACL, and have been, or plan to be, made by subsequent general penalties amendment legislation. Schedule 1 to the bill makes further changes to CAFTA consequential to the adoption of the ACL and the repeal of parts of CAFTA, including those relating to the Consumer Affairs Council. These amendments include inserting new definitions relating to the ACL, as well as correcting spelling and grammatical errors, and making statute law revision-type amendments in line with current drafting practices. Schedule 2 makes consequential amendments to other acts, generally changing references from the Trade Practices Act 1974 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, or omitting references to the Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading Act and referring instead to the Australian Consumer Law. Madam Speaker, I commend the bill to honourable members, and I table a copy of the explanatory statement. Debate adjourned. OATHS, AFFIDAVITS AND DECLARATIONS BILL (Serial 118) OATHS, AFFIDAVITS AND DECLARATIONS (CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS) BILL (Serial 119) Continued from 12 August 2010. Mr ELFERINK (Port Darwin): Madam Speaker, I speak to this bill which, to me, is a little surprising in its current shape bearing in mind the amendments to be proposed during the committee stage. Without entering into debate about the committee stage amendments at this point, one has to go back to the second reading speech to discover how this bill started its life, found its way through the judicial system, and to the Attorney-Generals Office to enable her to bring it into this House. I am always a little cautious of any legislative instrument which comes into this House which does not have the associated media release saying what a great news story it is for the people of the Northern Territory. I do not recall seeing any of the associated media releases we usually see with one legislative instrument or another being brought before this House. I took the bill away; I have looked at it and received a briefing on it. I will come back to the issues I have shortly. One of the primary reasons given in the second reading speech for this bill was the complicated nature of the oath, and translation problems with Aboriginal people make the oath difficult to understand. My response to that, having lived and worked with Aboriginal people for many years, is balderdash. I do not accept that justification for this bill. I will share an anecdote with honourable members where a few years ago - I am uncertain of the truth, it is third hand but, for the purposes of the exercise it will do. Many years ago an Aboriginal man was facing court in Alice Springs. His defence was proceeding badly, so his lawyer took the unusual and somewhat desperate step of placing his client in the witness box to examine him and allow the prosecution to cross-examine him. An oath was sworn on the Bible and there was a dispute between the prosecutor and the defence as to whether he understood the solemn nature of the oath. It was agreed the prosecutor be allowed to ask several questions of this poor fellow about the oath he had taken. The first question was: You have just taken an oath on the Bible. Yes, I have, was the reply. The prosecutor said: What do you think will happen if you tell a lie? The response from the gentleman in the box was: I will go to hell. The question was then put to the defendant: What will happen if you tell the truth? The defendant replied: I will go to gaol. One could imagine, at least from that anecdote, the defendant understood there was a component of taking the oath which carried with it a duty with a consequence that flowed to another realm. I submit there is a difference between an oath and a mere promise for numerous reasons. One of the questions I asked in my briefing was: Have 6725
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