Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 1999..
MR QUINLAN (continuing):
revenue lost in the period under review was some $330,000 and even after the Magistrates Court commenced backcapturing details of cases where bail forfeiture had been ordered
the committee notes that the government has undertaken to monitor procedural changes arising from the audit to assess the degree to which they impact on the recovery of forfeited bail moneys
however, it is disturbing to the committee that the Court's bail processes are rather meaningless and that there seems every likelihood that those who breach bail conditions will not be penalised
further, the committee finds no evidence that those who stand surety for bail are brought to account when bail conditions are not met. This situation has the potential to bring the court system into disrepute
the committee has recommended measures to ensure that appropriate bail forfeitures apply when bail and surety conditions are breached, and that the Attorney-General after due experience with procedural changes, inform the Assembly of the extent to which those procedures have been beneficial in improving the recovery of forfeited bail moneys
I commend the report to the Assembly.
MR QUINLAN: I would only add that we have recommended some form of review. Given that magistrates are busy people, there should be some registrar support to give some capacity to set bail according to means to pay before the event rather than have the forfeiture processes and the remission processes take place afterwards. It cannot be any more time consuming to do it beforehand, so maybe we could invent a system where magistrates set bail by classification as opposed to specific amount and a registrar then makes some form of assessment. If when bail is set people cannot pay, the whole exercise has been pointless. Even those who go surety cannot pay, because there has been no assessment, so there is no collection. It seems a nonsense. If we can set a more sensible level of bail and use a little lateral thinking in setting it in the first place, then some of these problems may be obviated. I commend the report to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Humphries ) adjourned.
MR HIRD (12.55): I present Report No. 27 of the Standing Committee on Urban Services, entitled "Draft Variation to the Territory Plan No. 117: Heritage Places Register (Mt Franklin Ski Chalet, Huts, Homesteads and Brumby Yards)", together with a copy of the extracts of the minutes of the proceedings. I move:
That the report be noted.