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Monday, 25 June 2001
Page: 28419

Mr SPEAKER (12:31 PM) —On Thursday, 21 June 2001, the Manager of Opposition Business asked me two questions about the rescission of assent to print the Family and Community Services and Veterans' Affairs Legislation Amendment (Debt Recovery) Act 2001, which contained an error. First, I was asked about responsibility for the error having occurred and I responded to that question on Thursday. Second, I was asked about whether the assent to the incorrect act had any consequences for citizens. Fortunately the error was identified early. Gazettal of the act did not occur and any copies that had been issued were recalled promptly. The operative provisions in the act do not come into effect until 1 July 2001. I understand from the Department of Family and Community Services that no veterans or social security clients were adversely affected by the delay in implementing the measures contained in the legislation.

Mr Tim Fischer —On a point of order, Mr Speaker: to clarify, I understand that we are sitting two hours earlier than we were advised last Thursday, due to the delayed arrival of President Wahid. Could you clarify the instrument by which that alteration was made, presumably by your good self earlier this morning?

Mr SPEAKER —I will respond formally to the member for Farrer by indicating that a notice was sent by the Clerk under my authority to all electorate offices this morning, as soon as the change had been made.