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as at 18 October 2017 12:47:38 AEST
Approved web site under the Legislation Act 2001 (ACT)

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About the register - an overview

Contents

The ACT legislation register

The legislation register is an authorised electronic statute book that provides the community with free and quick access to ACT legislation and related information.

The ACT legislation register is established by the Legislation Act 2001. It began operation on the approved secure web site—www.legislation.act.gov.au—when the Act commenced on 12 September 2001.

The legislation register is central to the making, notification, commencement, operation, interpretation, proof, republication, amendment and repeal of legislation and instruments made under legislation.

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Main functions

The register has the following functions:

  • to make authorised versions of new and up-to-date ACT legislation freely accessible
  • to provide a mechanism for notifying new laws electronically
  • to make timely and comprehensive information about ACT legislation freely accessible.

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Legislation and instruments on the register

The register contains the following:

  • authorised republications of laws currently in force
  • Acts as made
  • subordinate laws as made
  • disallowable instruments as made
  • notifiable instruments as made
  • commencement notices as made
  • resolutions by the Legislative Assembly to disallow or amend subordinate laws or disallowable instruments
  • bills presented to the Legislative Assembly
  • notifications of the making of Acts, subordinate laws, disallowable instruments, notifiable instruments and commencement notices
  • notifications of the disallowance or amendment of subordinate laws and disallowable instruments by the Legislative Assembly.

The register also includes other material to help legislation users, for example, explanatory statements for bills, subordinate laws and disallowable instruments and information about legislation.

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Status of legislation

Legislation on the register is accessible in authorised and unauthorised versions.

Authorised versions—pdf

Under the Legislation Act, authorised versions of legislation on the register attract the same evidentiary presumptions that apply to authorised printed versions (see Legislation Act 2001, chapter 3). Authorised versions appear in portable document format (pdf). This format provides a high level of security for published documents on the Internet. It also keeps the original format and design of documents.

The Parliamentary Counsel's Office has started to apply digital signatures to authorised versions. You can now verify the authenticity of the versions that have digital signatures. For information about how to use digital signatures, click here.

Unauthorised versions—rtf

The register also provides versions of legislation in rich text format (rtf). Versions in this format are not authorised, but are included to facilitate searching and copying and to provide a higher level of disability access.

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Focus on user-friendliness and currency

The register has been designed to provide easy access to current law. Current subordinate laws and instruments are listed under their parent Act.

Legislation and instruments can be found through various pathways, including current legislation, annual legislation as made, repealed legislation and notifications. If you are not sure if a law is in force, look under the heading 'All' in the list of current and repealed laws.

The register is updated regularly, daily if necessary.

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Republications—point-in-time versions of law

The register includes all ACT Acts and subordinate laws in up-to-date authorised form. New amendments are included on the day they come into force or as soon as possible afterwards.

A strict policy of publishing separate versions for separate commencement and expiry dates has been adopted to provide point-in-time access to the law. This makes it easy to find the law as it was in force on a particular day.

Most republications are available in authorised and unauthorised formats.

Superseded versions

The register contains superseded versions of authorised republications, that is, versions of republications that are no longer current. Initially, the register contained only versions that were superseded after the register started. Legislation that was superseded before the establishment of the register is being added to the register.

Future law

Future versions of laws are also sometimes published on the register. For significant new laws with delayed commencements, the decision may be made to publish a version of the law as it is proposed to be at a future date.

Repealed legislation

The register contains repealed legislation, that is, legislation that is no longer in force. Initially, the register contained only legislation that was repealed after the register started. Earlier repealed laws are being added to the register as part of the backcapture program.

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Acts, subordinate laws and instruments as notified

Acts, Ordinances and subordinate laws

All Acts as notified since 1989, Ordinances as notified since 1911 and subordinate laws as notified since 1914 are accessible on the register.

Instruments

Disallowable instruments, notifiable instruments, commencement notices and resolutions by the Legislative Assembly to disallow or amend a subordinate law or disallowable instrument as notified since 1989 are accessible on the register.

Bills

Bills presented to the Legislative Assembly and their explanatory statements since 1989 are accessible on the register. Compatability statements for the Human Rights Act are also accessible.

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Additional material

What's new

What's new is a page on the register where new notified ACT legislation, republications and bills are listed every week. It also includes information about any changes to the register. What's New is updated every Friday.

Legislation update

The legislation update contains details of Acts and subordinate laws notified, amended, modified, commencing or repealed in the current year. The update also includes bills currently before the Legislative Assembly. The legislation update is published every Friday. It can be accessed on What's New under 'Legislation tables' or from the 'Legislation update' tab on the top menu bar.

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Notification on the register

From 12 September 2001, ACT legislation has been notified on the legislation register rather than in the government gazette. Electronic notification is a more efficient way of bringing legislation into effect and it helps to keep the public better informed about new ACT laws.

Notification involves the publication of a statement that an Act or instrument has been made and publication of the text of the Act or instrument on the register.

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Numbering system

Different classes of legislation are numbered in separate series to indicate the order in which the pieces of legislation are passed or made and to provide a convenient identifier.

The different classes are Acts, subordinate laws, disallowable instruments, notifiable instruments, commencement notices and resolutions by the Legislative Assembly to disallow or amend a subordinate law or disallowable instrument. An Act made in 2003 that was given the number 7 is numbered A2003-7. Subordinate laws have the format SL[year]-[no], disallowable instruments DI[year]-[no], notifiable instruments NI[year]-[no], commencement notices CN[year]-[no], Assembly resolutions AR[year]-[no].

Approved forms are numbered in a separate series although they are notifiable instruments. Most forms previously prescribed by Acts and subordinate laws were omitted from them and converted into approved forms (see A2001-44). The converted forms are accessible on the register as approved forms in the format AF[year]-[no].

Future developments

The register is under constant review so that improvements can be made to its range of electronic material and its search facilities. The register is being developed continually to improve access to ACT legislation.

Feedback

The Parliamentary Counsel's Office welcomes comments, feedback and queries from legislation users. Your comments will be especially useful in the future development of the register.

    Contact details:
    e-mail: pco@act.gov.au
    postal address: GPO Box 158 Canberra ACT 2601

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