Page 2870 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 11 October 2022
I would also like to commend Minister Steel and his review through TCCS of road traffic penalties, including the consideration of new offences and car confiscations. Earlier this year the government’s Road Transport Legislation Amendment Act made a series of improvements to the ACT’s current road transport penalties framework, ensuring that there is a clear hierarchy of offences, with escalating penalties from lower-level dangerous behaviours through to the most serious negligent, dangerous and culpable driving. All of us have a role and responsibility in working towards Vision Zero—no deaths or serious injuries on Canberra’s roads.
In closing, I want to speak to the victims of road trauma in the ACT and the families impacted. My heart is with you. I have advocated for you, and I will continue to do so. Earlier this morning, the Chief Minister expressed that there is a wide range of views on this matter. As a concerned local member, I will continue to advocate for more to be done to address dangerous driving in this community. I will not be supporting the Canberra Liberals’ motion today, because I do have confidence in Minister Rattenbury as the Attorney-General.
I support Minister Rattenbury’s amendments. I would particularly like to draw the Assembly’s attention to point (e), that the government is undertaking a range of work to ensure sentencing and bail laws and judicial outcomes are appropriate and in line with community expectations. I think that is critically important. This work includes, particularly, the establishment of an independent law and sentencing advisory council. That is important. I commend the minister on the provision of the amendment that the council be established as a matter of priority—I think that is very important—and I commend the minister on the provision that the council will examine dangerous driving issues as a priority, because I think that is important.
There is also the JACS committee dangerous driving inquiry. I take this inquiry work very seriously, and I hope that there will be a broad range of recommendations from reform that will come out of this inquiry, and ideally present to the government some substantial and proactive ways to address some of the systemic issues in respect to dangerous driving in the ACT.
MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (4.05): I rise to speak briefly as shadow minister for the prevention of domestic and family violence. I would like to bring the attention of members to the need for the review of bail decisions, which has been a hot topic in my office for the past week. I have recently been contacted by several victims-survivors of domestic violence, who have expressed to me their distress of having their family violence orders breached and the perpetrator taken in by the police, only for the perpetrator to then be released on bail with a real threat of breaching orders again, but with an escalated risk of harm.
Not only is there an escalated risk of harm, but there is also a real possibility that the degree of harm will be more severe than the previous breach. In the meantime, the victims-survivors, both the parent and their children, live in a constant state of fear and anxiety, as their safety is at risk. We know that there is a history of domestic and family violence where victims were sadly killed by a family member while on bail. These cases raise important questions about the role of bail in protecting and keeping victims of family violence safe and alive.