Page 2108 - Week 07 - Thursday, 29 June 2023

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This bill introduces offences into the Public Unleased Land Act 2013 to support these new electoral corflute restrictions. The penalty for breaching the existing requirements of the code is 10 penalty units, or a fine of $220, which is not considered an effective deterrent for the most serious nature of the new restrictions. This is why a higher penalty of 20 penalty units or a $440 fine is proposed for the new restrictions. The higher penalty makes it clear that excessive numbers of corflute signs being placed in high-speed traffic at any one time will no longer be an accepted practice. However, signs will still be able to be placed within the restrictions to also maintain candidates’ freedom of political communication.

I want to conclude by thanking the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety, and all of those individuals and organisations who contributed to the Inquiry into the 2020 ACT Election and Electoral Act. Their engagement has shaped this bill and resulted in many amendments to strengthen the transparency, integrity and inclusivity of our elections.

I would also like to thank the ACT Electoral Commission for their expert advice and constructive engagement on the bill, as well as officers from the Justice and Community Safety Directorate and the Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate for their work in delivering these amendments.

The ACT has a strong and vibrant democracy and this bill will enhance and support fairness, transparency and accessibility, as well as road safety. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee

Reporting date

MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (11.21): I move:

That, notwithstanding the provisions of the resolution of the Assembly of 2 December 2020, as amended, that established general purpose standing committees, the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety shall present its report on the Justice (Age of Criminal Responsibility) Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 by 14 July 2023.

My motion calls for a one-week extension to the reporting date, from 9 July to 14 July for this inquiry into raising the age of criminal responsibility. It is a minor extension and I trust that members here will support it.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Executive business—precedence

Ordered that executive business be called on.

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