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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 11 Hansard (26 September) . . Page.. 3282..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

An offence of causing an unauthorised impairment of electronic communications between computers is also included. It is designed to catch activities such as flooding a website with a large volume of unwanted messages to cause the computer server to crash. A maximum of 10 years imprisonment applies for this offence.

Finally, there are two offences relating to the possession and supply of data or programs intended for use in the commission of a computer offence. They attract a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment and are aimed at those who possess or trade in programs designed to hack into or infect and damage computer systems.

The final part of the bill deals with sabotage and threatened sabotage. The ACT does not have an adequate regime for dealing with sabotage and threatened sabotage. The offences that loosely touch on this subject, in division 6.7 of the Crimes Act, are outdated and have only limited application to today's methods of attack. They are not sufficiently comprehensive to protect the full range of public facilities and infrastructure that are at risk in today's climate.

The sabotage and threatened sabotage offences in the bill are directed at terrorists and others who damage or destroy or threaten to destroy public facilities, infrastructure or government offices. There is no restriction on the means of causing damage or disruption, provided they involve committing an offence of property damage or an unauthorised computer function. There also has to be an intention to cause major disruption to government functions or major disruption to the use of services by the public or major economic loss. The maximum penalty is 25 years imprisonment for the sabotage offence and 15 years imprisonment for the threatened sabotage offence.

I have to say that I think that these proposed amendments to the criminal law are very timely and I commend the code and explanatory memorandum to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Civil Law (Wrongs) Amendment Bill 2002

Mr Stanhope, on behalf of Mr Wood, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for Women) (11:13): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, a few weeks ago we marked the first anniversary of the terrible events of September 11 last year. It is perhaps only now, one year later, that we have become aware of the full implications of those acts of terror. As a direct consequence of that act, reinsurance for acts of terror is no longer available for general insurers, which includes compulsory third party insurance. The ACT scheme provider, NRMA Insurance Ltd, has


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