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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 2 Hansard (10 February) . . Page.. 553..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Liberal Party, in relation to that. You can lose your car if you do a burnout but you cannot lose your truck if you dump 10,000 tonnes of builders rubble. That is a very interesting position that those that are opposed to this particular provision take in relation to it.

I thank the members for the support that they are giving to those parts of the bill that they are supporting but I am bemused that they are not prepared to tackle this most difficult and intractable issue head on and seek to make a genuine difference to the amount of waste that is illegally dumped around our city.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (7.47), by leave: I move amendments Nos 1 and 2 circulated in my name together [see schedule 1 at page 579].

As both Mr Coe and I have alluded to, the purpose of those amendments is to remove the provisions which allow a vehicle to be impounded as a default punishment. Mr Stanhope also alluded to this. He talked about the commercial builder not being liable. But of course that is not actually the case, because you can still fine the builder to restore the damage that he created, which in general I would assume would be more than the value of his truck in that instance that he spoke of.

The reason that we are against this is that it is disproportionate. The proportionate response is, as in the rest of the bill, that the person who dumps has to restore. Members should note that the scrutiny of bills committee has pointed out that section 10 of the Human Rights Act may be seen to incorporate a principle that punishment should not be disproportionate to the offence. Impounding a vehicle also raises privacy and property rights which the government has not considered. The punishments currently available are sufficient without raising problematical rights issues.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (7.48): I will not belabour the point or delay the Assembly unduly but I do need to respond to the suggestion that Ms Le Couteur makes, most particularly in relation to the notion of proportionality and human rights. I think it is very important that we draw the distinction. Ms Le Couteur is quite entitled to suggest that, in her opinion—and this is perhaps all she is doing—the government's proposal is disproportionate to the offence. I am always concerned, however, that we understand exactly the notion of proportionality as it applies to the Human Rights Act.

Certainly the scrutiny of bills committee made some comments and expressed some concern about whether or not this response was proportionate in the context of section


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