Claims by Opposition Leader Barry MacKinnon that the Government had failed to repeal old legislation, and thus made life more difficult for small business, has the Government scratching its head in bewilderment.
Attorney General Joe Berinson said it was unclear where Mr MacKinnon had been last year when the Government repealed 63 Acts, including two of the four examples he gave as Acts not yet repealed.
"The Leader of the Opposition will no doubt be relieved to know that the Parliament has indeed already repealed the 1864 Act extending the Inquiries into Wrecks Ordinance and the 1947 Act regulating the activities of street photographers, which he was so worried about," Mr Berinson said.
"We have, it is true, retained the 1912 Act prohibiting the use of white phosphorus in matches, which Mr MacKinnon also objects to, but the State Government, like Governments throughout Australia, felt this was acceptable for safety reasons.
"Similarly, the Married Women's Property Act, which Mr MacKinnon uses as his fourth example, has been retained because it is still needed to over-rule the doctrine of unity of spouses by giving married women rights to their separate property.
"It is uncertain whether Mr MacKinnon is suggesting married women should not have these rights, but such a view was not shared by the previous Liberal Government which in fact authorised a 1980 reprint of the Act."
Mr Berinson said it was difficult to see how such laws would impede small business anyway.
"I am equally at a loss to understand why the Opposition Leader wants a special sitting of Parliament to allow unnecessary regulation to be repealed, when the repeal of regulations does not require the Parliament to sit. It is an executive act."
Mr Berinson said the Government reviewed old legislation on an ongoing basis.
"Our repeals last year even included 25 imperial statutes dating back to the year 1327 and the reign of Edward the Third - laws which had remained intact and ignored by earlier Liberal Governments," he said.
"We covered everything from a 1876 law forbidding the removal of droppings from sea birds off Crown land, to the Hawkers and Peddlers Act restricting the activities of commercial travellers and street vendors."
He said it took more than three years to get the repeal legislation through the Parliament as the Bill had been referred by the Opposition to a Select Committee of the Legislative Council after its introduction in 1988.
"We finally got it through last year, and I am just sorry Mr MacKinnon was apparently unaware of it," he said.