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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 3588..


MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

offences and New South Wales has about seven. Apart from that, it is pretty faithfully in line with what New South Wales has done. There is immense sense in doing that. That is the state that surrounds us. That is the state with which we have the most cross-border dealings in terms of crimes, and it makes eminent sense to follow that state if it makes sensible improvements to its law. I must say that the New South Wales Labor government has done that over a number of years. I have no compunction in praising the Labor government when it does the right thing.

Most states have much stronger laws. In fact, virtually all of them do have stronger laws than us. Certainly, with sentencing guidelines and recommended non-parole periods—and a few other states do this, too—New South Wales has a scheme in place that I believe we should replicate. I hope that this time the government, rather than just knocking this out, will give some serious consideration to it, as it should. I note that in a couple of areas of criminal law the attorney has given some encouraging signs in relation to some immediate law reform in the criminal justice area and in other ancillary areas of the law.

I commend the bill to my Assembly colleagues. I am happy to take people through it and discuss any issues before we debate it in due course. I am certainly interested in any proposed amendments. It is something that, quite clearly, the vast majority of people want to see happen. They want a justice system that delivers. It is crucially important that we have a well-resourced police force. Indeed, there are still some real issues there. At the other end of the scale, it is essential that the court system and the laws represent proper community expectations in order that the system can work as it should work and deliver those community expectations. Sadly, at present, those community expectations in terms of sentencing are not being delivered. Legislatures can effect that in the sensible way that the New South Wales Labor government has done. I commend this legislation to the Assembly.

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

Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2007

Dr Foskey, pursuant to notice, presented the bill.

Title read by Clerk.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (10.50): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2007 hopefully represents another small step down the road towards truly sustainable housing in the ACT. Now that climate change is on everyone's mind and well recognised as the most significant issue facing our generation, it is imperative that everyone becomes as aware as possible of their own impacts and of the many things, big and small, that can be done around our homes to minimise our energy use and impact on the planet. The latest IPCC report tells us just how dire the situation is and how pressing the need for action is. Released last weekend, the fourth report shows very clearly that we are very close to the


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