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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2138..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

In November 2002 at the Workplace Relations Ministers Council, the then Minister for Industrial Relations, Simon Corbell, supported ratification of Convention 182. On 5 March 2003, the ACT government wrote to Minister Abbott confirming our support for the ratification of Convention 182 and our commitment to complying with the full obligations of the convention.

The government provided the federal government legal advice that confirms that ACT law and practice comply with Convention 182 and that there are no impediments to the ratification of the convention. The federal government is considering that advice and should be responding to the territory in the next month. There is no indication that any legislative changes need to be made in the ACT.

Also, earlier in question time today, Mr Stefaniak asked me about the number of investigations by WorkCover that are under way in relation to this week's long weekend. I can confirm for Mr Stefaniak the number: there were six alleged illegal sales from the fireworks season this year.

Law Reform Commission

Report on bail-government response

MR STANHOPE

(Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for Environment) (3.24): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Australian Capital Territory Law Reform Commission Report on Bail - Government response, dated June 2003 -

I seek leave to make a statement on the paper.

Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE

: Mr Speaker, there is no doubt that bail can be a controversial and difficult issue for our courts, our police, this Assembly and the community. The question of bail requires a weighing up of important, but competing, interests and risks. Freedom from incarceration is a right that should not lightly be diminished in the absence of the finding of guilt by a court. The protection of the fundamental human right to freedom is of vital interest, not just to accused persons and their families but also to society as a whole.

Our society has another interest: ensuring that justice is done. This cannot occur if an accused person absconds before trial or interferes with a witness, for instance. Similarly, our society has an interest in ensuring that dangerous offenders are not given the opportunity to re-offend while awaiting trial. The challenge facing us is to ensure that our bail laws can and will produce bail decisions that give appropriate weight to each of these competing interests.

To this end, the previous government referred the issue of bail law to the ACT Law Reform Commission in December 1997. The terms of reference for the review required the commission to:


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