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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 14 Hansard (22 November) . . Page.. 4399..


MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

offences in the Supreme Court. You rattled off what happened in New South Wales or South Australia as a guide to the court, because there was very little in terms of statute law. That seemed to work fairly well.

We have some significant concerns in relation to what is best in this difficult area of sentencing. There is the clear community desire to see sentencing toughened up in the ACT. All the people I talk to do not have any problem with our adopting the strong measures that the New South Wales Labor government has adopted.

I would be interested to follow through the attorney's comments in relation to parole. I do not necessarily think it is all that different, but it is an interesting point he makes there. I stress, in terms of what my colleague and I put in relation to these bills, there is no contradiction; they are different stages. One is dealing with the time of their sentence; the other is dealing with rehabilitation afterwards. It is crucially important and something we all support.

I note that this is going to be lost. I had no real expectation that it would get up. You are making a mistake. It is a shame that, when it comes to areas like this, this government is very much at odds with what its colleagues in New South Wales and elsewhere are doing. That is a pity. It is important to have consistency, not only in the ACT but also across Australia in terms of such important things as sentencing, especially sentencing for serious offences.

Once again, you have missed an opportunity. I do not think the community, certainly those who come into contact with the criminal justice system and are often the victims of it, will thank you for that. There is a real concern in the community in terms of what is appropriate for courts to do and the fact that there is a need for stronger laws when it comes to serious crime. Once again, the Assembly has missed an opportunity to give proper voice to those reasonable community expectations.

Question put:

That Mr Stefaniak's amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted-

Ayes 6

Noes 9

Mrs Burke

Mr Stefaniak

Mr Berry

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Mulcahy

Mr Corbell

Ms MacDonald

Mr Pratt

Dr Foskey

Mr Quinlan

Mr Seselja

Ms Gallagher

Mr Stanhope

Mr Smyth

Mr Gentleman

Question so resolved in the negative.

New clause 66A negatived.

Clauses 67 to 133, by leave, taken together and agreed to.


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