Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 6 Hansard (3 Junes) . . Page.. 1651..
MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (10.59): I seek leave to propose three amendments together which have not been circulated in accordance with standing order 178A.
MR HANSON: I move amendments Nos 1 to 3 circulated in my name together [see schedule 2 at page 1691].
I foreshadowed that I would be moving these amendments in the in-principle stage. I am disappointed that they will not receive the support of the Greens and the government. I do apologise for the late notice. When we had the briefing from the government, I did notify the government staff, the minister's office, that I had concerns about these two areas. I foreshadowed at that point that I may be moving amendments, but we have been waiting for responses from a number of organisations—the Bar Association, the Law Society, the AFPA and so on—and they did not come in until late in the piece.
As I discussed, there are two substantive issues here. One is the aggravated offence for vulnerable road users. As I said previously, there are two concerns I have there. Firstly, there is a committee that is due to report. I have checked my notes, and in actual fact it is by the last sitting day this sitting week rather than the first; I expect that today, tomorrow or Thursday, Mr Rattenbury will clarify that point. We will see if there is a conspiracy today and whether Mr Gentleman is leaking information to me as well as to the minister, but we will wait and see if that is the case. The second concern I have is that in many ways it relates to the consequence of someone's actions rather than their behaviour, and that is what we are trying to establish here. The concept of the vulnerable road user is a new one, as Mr Rattenbury noted in his speech; it would be prudent to await the committee's report and the government's response before moving such a substantive change to our laws in this area.
The other substantive issue is the aggravated offence with regard to speeding. I have no concern with speeding being an aggravated offence for the offence of dangerous driving, but to introduce a contradictory paradigm for the way that speeding is assessed is, I think, problematic. Mr Rattenbury made a case that the percentage rule is a better way of looking at speeding offences, and maybe he is right. If he is, that should be applied consistently to speeding offences across all of our legislation. But what we are doing today is creating anomalies. We are creating inconsistencies both within our own legislation and with the nationally consistent standards which we endeavour to adhere to. For that reason, the amendment that I am moving would make it an aggravated offence if the speed was exceeded by 45 kilometres an hour. That is consistent with other jurisdictions and is a methodology that is consistent with that used for all other traffic offences in the ACT. I commend the amendments to the Assembly.
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) (11.03): The government will not be supporting these amendments today. I will address each of Mr Hanson's amendments in turn.
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