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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 8 Hansard (3 August) . . Page.. 3373..


Mr Wood: It wouldn't be junk mail.

MR CORNWELL: Thank you, Mr Wood. You see, this is the conundrum that we face. To me, that may be not "No junk mail", but that is not the point. The point is the recipient is the person who makes that decision. I know we are never going to resolve an argument of this nature, except that we have to make that decision ourselves. Occasionally you will put things in a "No junk mail"and you will get letters or abuse or something from somebody.

But then the contra comes back when people say to you, "Hey, I haven't heard from you. Are you still standing?"You say, "Have you got a 'No junk mail' on your box?"They say, "Oh, yes."You can't resolve this problem.

I might add that I would make a plea to those-it doesn't matter to me now, but I would make a plea on behalf of all other people who may be pamphlet-dropping at one stage-who do have "No junk mail", Mr Speaker, and who live at the top of very steep driveways, with the letterbox at the top, to have the decency to say, "This is 'No junk mail'"down at the foot of the driveway. It is extremely frustrating to climb all the way to the top and find that you are blocked.

Nevertheless, it does not alter the fact that, whatever the minister said in relation to these matters, they are working satisfactorily now. There may be the odd complaint, as I say, about receiving something do not want or not receiving something that you did, but it seems to me that they are working quite well at the moment. I therefore do not see any need to enshrine in legislation further such restrictions. I repeat: if restrictions were imposed, I would certainly be against any exceptions to those restrictions such as set out in 13B (3) of Ms Tucker's amendment.

MR WOOD (Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Arts and Heritage, and Acting Minister for Health) (5.35): I think I have spoken to this by reference to the fact that I said that the voluntary system seems to be working. We are not getting complaints from people about stuff that goes into their letterboxes; so this seems to me a particularly complicated way of handling a problem that I do not think is there. Why would we go down that path? There are technical problems, too, compounded by the fact that this is strict liability stuff and there are some issues there that have been raised. But that, in effect, is secondary to the fact that I just do not think we need this.

MR HARGREAVES (5.36): I rose because Ms Tucker was out and was on her way back. I just wanted to say that I accept, obviously, what the minister said, but it is a question of the crime and punishment fitting each other. I have to say, in relation to the argument Ms Dundas put about younger people putting something in the letterbox saying "Have you seen a cat?""Have you seen a dog?"and all that sort of stuff, we need to treat those sorts of things, very carefully, because these are unintended consequences. We need to be very cautious about that. I have a great big bin at my house with a yellow lid on it, and that is how I deal with the stuff that I do not want in my letterbox, the same as everybody else does in town.


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