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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 5 Hansard (15 May) . . Page.. 1543..


In addition, I acknowledge the Victims of Crime Commissioner and Dr Peggy Brown in her role as Chief Psychiatrist and now as Director-General of ACT Health, and my colleague Simon Corbell who initiated the review as Minister for Health and who has continued to support it in his role as Attorney-General.

To all of those who have taken part in the various stages of the exposure draft stage over the last eight years, this is an important day today. The new provisions in this bill place the ACT at the forefront of reform for mental health legislation nationally.

The bill reflects the growing capacity of our mental health system which has resulted from the government's ongoing commitment to mental health. I commend the bill to members.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Jones) adjourned to the next sitting.

Road Transport Legislation Amendment Bill 2014

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (10.19): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to present this bill to the Assembly today. This bill amends the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 to introduce the aggravating factors for the offence of furious, reckless or dangerous driving to section 7 of that act. This amendment provides a higher maximum penalty where a person is convicted of the offence of furious, reckless or dangerous driving when one of those aggravating factors is present.

This bill targets high-risk driving behaviour that has the potential to have catastrophic consequences. Currently, such dangerous driving behaviour is only subject to a significant sanction if the driving action results in grievous bodily harm or death to a driver, passenger or other party. In those cases the driver would be charged with the more serious charge of culpable driving. This focus on outcomes rather than the conduct itself results in dangerous conduct not being appropriately punished when serious death or injury has not occurred.

Members would appreciate that it is often by luck alone that dangerous driving behaviours have not resulted in serious injury or death to drivers, passengers or other road users. Therefore, this bill seeks to recognise the seriousness of this high-risk driving behaviour and the sanction that should apply by providing a higher maximum penalty for furious, reckless or dangerous driving when it occurs in certain clearly defined circumstances that pose a clearly greater risk to road users.


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