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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 4279..


Wednesday, 19 November 2003

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Tabling of documents

MR SPEAKER: Members will recall that in the adjournment debate on Thursday, 23 October 2003 Mr Stefaniak sought and was granted leave to table certain documents in relation to the issue of trees on the corner of Coulter Drive and Nettlefold Street in Belconnen. In seeking leave Mr Stefaniak assured members that the document "is not a particularly contentious document, apart from it having a go at PALM for giving wrong information"and said, "They are not slagging off at any individual; they are just making a series of points in relation to stats."

I have examined the documents tabled and consider that they make quite serious claims against public servants and the minister and contain words which, if read out in the chamber, I may require to be withdrawn.

Members may recall that in December 2002 I was required to rule on remarks made about the document tabled by leave by Mr Humphries which made allegations and claims concerning Mrs Cross. At that time I advised members that, if they wished to grant leave of the Assembly for papers to be tabled, they should attempt to make themselves aware of the contents of the documents in question before leave is given. I reiterate that ruling today.

Petitions

The following petitions were lodged for presentation.

Sentencing laws

by Mr Stefaniak , from 84 residents:

To the Speaker and the Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital Territory.

The petition of certain members of the Australian Capital Territory draws to the attention of the Assembly community concerns about the weak and inadequate sentences handed down by our Courts for serious crimes committed in the ACT (such as robbery, supplying drugs and crimes of violence).

Your petitioners therefore request the Assembly to take all necessary steps to bring ACT laws in line with Sentencing Laws and practices in New South Wales and call on our Courts to impose stronger sentencing on persons convicted of serious offences in the ACT.


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