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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (4 March) . . Page.. 426..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

to make submissions to the council on the proposed variation, or the explanatory memorandum relating to the proposed variation.

Section 21C provides that, when making a minor variation, the council must have regard to any submissions it receives, for consistency of the measure with the principles of environmental policy set out in section 3 of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Environment, any relevant international agreements to which Australia is a party, and any regional difficulties in Australia.

There is nothing to be gained and much to be lost by not following the national approach on these matters. The proposed amendments represent sensible and measured changes to the act. I thank the Assembly for its support.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Confiscation of Criminal Assets Bill 2002

Debate resumed from 21 November 2002, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MS TUCKER (11.15): This legislation is based on the work done by the Australian Law Reform Commission. It is an update of the existing Proceeds of Crime Bill. Normally, work of the Australian Law Reform Commission involves extensive drafting and fine-tuning, through wide consultation. However, in this case, the time was cut short by the federal government. So the committee notes in its report that it has not had the usual amount of fine-tuning.

To give some general background, most other Australian jurisdictions have similarly updated their equivalent bills, but the draconianness of the bills varies. Western Australia is reputed to be the most severe, from this perspective. I understand that the ACT bill is closer to the Commonwealth bill than the WA bill. However, there are some problems from our point of view. I will be moving amendments to address some of these concerns.

There are other problems, such as choosing retroactivity for this scheme rather than a transitional arrangement. Although I do not have amendments for them, I note those parts with some regret. There are improvements in the bill which will make this system operate more clearly-and, no doubt, other members will cover these areas. To reduce the risk of exceeding my time, I will not explain the advantages of the bill.

Basically, what is this about? These types of acts put into practice an understandable principle that people who commit crimes ought not to be allowed to keep the profits of those crimes-in addition to, and separate from, the punishment or rehabilitation determined by the courts hearing the criminal charges to be appropriate. This is a


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