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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 4156..


MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

which relates to something that endangers or is likely to endanger human life. That is obvious.

I have a bit of concern in relation to paragraph (b), which relates to harm which is or is likely to be significant and longstanding. In other words, the definition will read, "Serious harm means any harm, including the cumulative effect of more than one harm, that is, or is likely to be, significant and longstanding,"which comes back to the problem I have in relation to proposed section 42 (3).

There was a case in Canberra not all that long ago-I don't know if the police got the culprit-involving a very brave woman who was burgled by, I think, a 15 or 16-year-old burglar and she had the presence of mind to whack him with a cricket bat, although he was a big kid, and off he went. I think she was praised by the police and written up in the Canberra Times most favourably. She was protecting her property.

I do not know whether she actually did any significant injury to him, but what if she had broken his arm? A broken arm is not insignificant. It is also quite longstanding. I can see Mr Hargreaves over there with his foot on the desk. He has a broken foot. That has been pretty longstanding for poor old John, having broken it down at Narooma. He will not be out of plaster for a little while yet, so I would have to say that his is a pretty longstanding injury.

What would happen if that occurred to a burglar in the course of burgling a place and the person getting rid of the burglar was not threatened by the burglar? I am not going to attempt to amend this provision because I can read numbers, but I think we need to look at it very carefully. I do have concerns with the second leg of "serious harm"in terms of proposed section 42 (3), which has been agreed to by this Assembly. I think that some concerns could arise there. That is something we will be monitoring very closely.

Amendments agreed to.

Dictionary, as amended, agreed to.

Title agreed to.

Question proposed:

That the bill, as amended, be agreed to.

MR STEFANIAK: I seek leave to make some brief comments in relation to the first amendment. I attempted to do so when your deputy was in the chair and it was felt that a more appropriate time for that would be at the end of the consideration of the bill.

Leave granted.

MR STEFANIAK

: I think that Ms Dundas misinterpreted the bill in some comments she made in her speech at the in-principle stage and I wish to take issue with those comments. This bill is a criminal code bill. It deals with a number of offences and issues of criminal responsibility. It does not deal with things such as the number of prisoners,


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