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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4385..


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

Legal Affairs-Standing Committee

Reference

MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (11.44): I seek leave to move a motion referring the Crimes (Industrial Manslaughter) Bill 2002 to the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs.

Leave granted.

MR CORBELL: I move:

That, nothwithstanding the provisions of standing order 174,

the Crimes (Industrial Manslaughter) Bill 2002 be referred to the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs for inquiry and report by 1 April 2003; and

on the Committee presenting its report on the Bill to the Assembly the resumption of debate on the question "That this Bill be agreed to in principle"be set down as an order of the day for the next sitting.

Mr Speaker, just briefly, I indicated in my presentation speech on the Crimes (Industrial Manslaughter) Bill 2002, that the government believes that a significant opportunity must be provided for community and industry comment on the provisions proposed in the bill. There is no doubt that the government believes that these provisions are important in protecting and holding accountable those people who may deliberately or recklessly cause the death of a worker.

We acknowledge, however, that these provisions are potentially contentious and may be disputed by some parts of our community. For that reason, the government is committed to a process that will allow those views to be aired and for the appropriate Assembly committee to report on those to allow the Assembly to properly consider this legislation.

MR PRATT (11.46): Mr Speaker, we support the referral of this bill to the committee, but I take this opportunity to say that we are extremely concerned with the nature of this proposal. We also note that other jurisdictions are moving away from the concept of industrial manslaughter. We believe that this is going to be a very divisive and a very dangerous piece of legislation and we look forward to undertaking a more detailed scrutiny of what the minister is proposing and will have plenty to say about this bill later.

MR HARGREAVES (11.47): Mr Speaker, I rise as deputy chair of the committee to welcome the referral by the government. I think that it is particularly important that we engage the community on this matter. We need to take the committee with us in innovative decisions like this one. This bill is about something which possibly affects each and every worker in the territory and I welcome the initiative of the government and look forward to contributing very positively to its outcome.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


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