THE NEW Powers of Attorney Bill 2006 introduced in the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly last week was heralded for a modernisation of the law which will benefit Canberrans
Attorney-General Simon Corbell said the Bill was timely given that the current law is almost 50 years old and in dire need of an update.
“The ACT community will benefit from a comprehensive and simple scheme introduced by the Bill for people to make their powers of attorney,” he said.
The Bill will place more emphasis on protecting the interests of those who make enduring powers of attorney, and is the “end product of a comprehensive review of the law relating to making substituted decision-making by people,” Corbell said.
“The review had its origin in the recommendations of the ACT Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Health and Community Care in its 2001 inquiry into elder abuse in the ACT. The recommendations aimed at addressing the abuse of older people’s powers of attorney. The government decided that the standing committee’s concerns should be addressed through a comprehensive reform of the whole scheme of powers of attorney.”
The reforms establish clear criteria to determine whether a person issuing a power of attorney has understood its nature and effect, Corbell said.
“The new law also requires attorneys for people who lost capacity to comply with general principles relating to rights of the maker of the enduring power of attorney,” he said.
“Under the Bill, the Guardianship and Management of Property Tribunal will have supervisory powers in relation to enduring powers of attorney when the maker has lost capacity. The Bill also recognises interstate documents similar to ACT powers of attorney. Powers of attorney are useful tools for making decisions. The new law strengthens the confidence of people to make them.”
Hunt & Hunt exports know-how to Austrade
THE AUSTRALIAN Government’s export promotion agency, Austrade, has entered into a new strategic alliance with Hunt & Hunt.
The firm will be involved in activities such as joint seminars, boardroom briefings, direct marketing programs, joint professional development, best practice sharing and web link exchanges.
Hunt & Hunt partner and customs, trade and transport specialist Andrew Hudson said the agreement is the formalisation of an association with a long history. “By sharing knowledge and best practice, Austrade and Hunt & Hunt will jointly be able to provide practical assistance as well as the latest information,” he said.
According to Hudson, the alliance was timely given the increase of Free Trade negotiation activity.
“Australian businesses must navigate a variety of laws, regulations and insurance matters in order to enter and develop international markets. This alliance will provide businesses with the professional assistance, information and expertise they need to become successful exporters,” he said.
Di Robinson, Austrade’s exporter development director, said the alliance will create a business services network to assist in entering international markets.
“Australian businesses increasingly look to their lawyers, accountants, bankers, insurers, consultants and logistics providers for help in dealing with the challenges of international business. The alliance between Austrade and Hunt & Hunt enhances the business advisory capacity of both organisations to successfully deliver international business advice and opportunities to their clients,” she said.