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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 3 August 2004) . . Page.. 3295 ..

called a “suspended sentence order”. Other important innovations include the fact that the option of incorporating a rehabilitation condition in an order has been formalised into a rehabilitation program order; reports and assessments requested by the courts can be provided in short or long form and can be delivered in both verbal and written form; and criminal proceedings can be reopened to correct penalty errors.

The government’s sentencing reform program is an innovative and exciting undertaking. It is the most substantial review and rewrite of sentencing laws the territory has ever seen. The package maximises sentencing effectiveness and removes anomalies and inconsistencies in the current legislation. It replaces a patchwork of laws, developed in a piecemeal manner, with a coherent sentencing regime giving clear guidance to the courts, to offenders and to the community. This is a very important policy for the community to consider. For this reason it is highly desirable for the community and key stakeholders to be given the opportunity to comment on the proposals before the introduction of the bill.

There are also a number of significant and complex human rights issues relating to sentencing that must be considered. Release of the bill as an exposure draft creates a unique opportunity for a detailed and full consideration of these issues and allows us to draw on the broad expertise of practitioners to ensure that rights are properly considered and balanced. It is for these reasons that I table the bill as an exposure draft.

Again, before concluding, I will take the opportunity to comment and acknowledge the significant work that has been involved in the undertaking of this sentencing review. It has been a massive effort; it is a massive piece of work; and I acknowledge the enormous contribution officers of the department of justice have made, in concert with parliamentary counsel. I commend all officers involved in this major review of sentencing law in the ACT. It is a significant piece of work that has required enormous focus and commitment. It is a credit to them and will be an enduring legacy of the work those officers have done.

Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2004

Debate resumed from 14 May 2004, on the motion by Mr Quinlan:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Motion (by Ms Dundas) proposed:

That debate be adjourned.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 3

Noes 12

Mrs Cross

Mr Berry

Ms MacDonald

Ms Dundas

Mrs Burke

Mr Quinlan

Ms Tucker

Mr Cornwell

Mr Smyth

Mrs Dunne

Mr Stanhope

Ms Gallagher

Mr Stefaniak

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Wood

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