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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 3886..


MR STEFANIAK: Scrutiny Report No 22 contains the committee's comments on three bills, 21 pieces of subordinate legislation and five government responses. I will have something more to say at a later stage about one of those responses.

I commend the report to the Assembly.

Confiscation of Criminal Assets Bill 2002

Mr Stanhope , 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) (11.08): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

This bill has been developed to implement the recommendations made by the Australian Law Reform Commission in its 1999 report Confiscation that Counts. The Australian Law Reform Commission report concerned the provisions of the Commonwealth Proceeds of Crime Act 1987. Since the ACT Proceeds of Crime Act 1991 contains substantially the same provisions as the Commonwealth legislation, many of the Australian Law Reform Commission's recommendations were relevant to the ACT Proceeds of Crime Act. The government has carefully considered the Australian Law Reform Commission's recommendations in formulating the bill I present today.

When drafting the bill, it soon became clear that it would not be possible to graft new provisions on to the existing scheme in the ACT Proceeds of Crime Act in a way that would result in a readable and user-friendly act. After careful consideration, it was decided the most efficient way to effectively adopt the key elements of the Australian Law Reform Commission's recommendations would be to repeal the existing legislation in its entirety and to replace it with a new bill, written in a modern drafting style that can effectively combine essential elements of the previous scheme with the additions, modifications and clarifications suggested by the ALRC. Members may wish to note that the Commonwealth has taken a similar approach to the reform process. It introduced the Proceeds of Crime Bill 2002 earlier this year to repeal and replace the Commonwealth Proceeds of Crime Act 1987.

In September 2001 my department circulated an exposure draft of the bill to key stakeholders across Australia, including law enforcement authorities, other governments, the legal profession and all members of this Assembly. The bill presented today has been developed in light of the comments received from the exposure draft and in light of the government's commitment at the 5 April 2002 leaders summit to strengthen our efforts to combat serious and organised crime.

At the outset, it is important that members understand what is meant by confiscation. Confiscation includes all measures used in the bill, and previously in the ACT Proceeds of Crime Act, to deprive persons engaged in crime of the material advantage they received as a result of their criminal activity. The concept includes automatic forfeiture


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