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Wednesday, 30 May 1973
Page: 2839


Mr SPEAKER - We are dealing with the presentation of papers. If the Minister wishes to make a statement he should ask for leave of the House.


Mr ENDERBY - I seek leave, Mr Speaker.


Mr SPEAKER - Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.


Mr ENDERBY - The Commission was established by the Law Reform Commission Ordinance 1971 and its first 3 reports were tabled in the House on 25 October 1972. They related, respectively, to imperial Acts in force in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales Acts in force in the Territory and civil procedure in the Court of Petty Sessions of the Territory. Owing to printing delays, copies of the report on imperial Acts have only recently come to hand. As I have indicated, this report has been printed for convenience together with the supplementary report on imperial Acts, in the one cover, and copies of this publication will be available to the public from to-day. The report on New South Wales Acts in force in the Territory is still with the printer but is promised very shortly, and it will be available to the public immediately it is printed.

The report on civil procedure in the Court of Petty Sessions was distributed to honourable members in duplicated form at the time it was tabled, and printed copies have been available for some time. The Government has announced its decision to implement the recommendation in this report for a small claims procedure. This procedure will enable claims up to $300 to be handled with a minimum of formality and expense. The 2 reports in addition to the supplementary report on imperial Acts that I now table are on the following 2 matters, referred to the Law Reform Commission on 17 September 1971:

Whether it is desirable that the Landlord and Tenant Ordinance 1949-1957 be amended so as to make provision for the recovery of premises other than prescribed premises, and if so what the nature of the provisions should be, and

Whether and in what respects the provisions of the Lunacy Act 1898 of the State of New South Wales, in its application to the Australian Capital Territory, relating to the management of the property and affairs of persons who are mentally ill needs to be amended.

In its report on landlord and tenant law in the Australian Capital Territory the Commission recommends modernised provisions to deal with the recovery of non-prescribed premises - that is, business and other nonresidential premises.

In its report on the mangement of the property and affairs of mentally infirm persons the Commission says that the law on this subject is in substance mostly satisfactory for the time being, but that it should be replaced by a single piece of legislation in modern, intelligible language. A feature of the present law is that mentally infirm persons in the Australian Capital Territory may be admitted, pursuant to an agreement between the Commonwealth and New South Wales governments, to mental hospitals in New South Wales, whereupon the property of such persons comes under the control of the Protective Commissioner of that State. The Law Reform Commission recommends the continuation of this arrangement for the time being, having regard to the expertise built up by the Commissioner and his staff, and to the comparatively small number of Territory estates involved. At the same time, the Commission recommends certain improvements to the law, including a provision for a mentally infirm person to request the Protective Commissioner to take control of his property without the need for the person first to be admitted to a mental hospital.

The Commission's supplementary report on imperial Acts is a very short one, drawing attention to 3 Acts to which references was omitted in the principal report. The 3 reports are being studies by Ministers having responsibility in relation to the matters dealt with.

Ordered that the reports be printed.







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