Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . Search

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 2 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 335..


MR GENTLEMAN (continuing):

The committee noted in its report on DV255 that the direct grant application made by Argos Pty Ltd had been considered by numerous ACT government agencies, including the Land Development Agency board, other agencies consulted during the cabinet consultation process, and cabinet ministers. The committee also considered the ACT government's guidelines for direct grants of land.

The committee's report is accessible on the Assembly's web site. The committee is satisfied that the proposed expansion of the supermarket in Mawson is in the public interest. The committee thanks the petitioners for their engagement with the Assembly process, and Dr Foskey for referring the petition.

Crimes (Offences Against Pregnant Women) Amendment Bill 2005

Debate resumed from 16 February 2006, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (11.18): As I was saying in relation to the government's proposed amendment just before debate ceased last time round, there are some significant problems there. I was starting to use as an analogy culpable driving, that is, that if someone came around a corner too fast, going at 100 kilometres an hour, and hit a car and there was a child in the car, they would not necessarily see the child, but if that child was killed or seriously injured they would be charged with culpable driving.

An analogous situation is the eggshell skull type of case, that is, that if someone assaulted a person who had an eggshell skull, punched them in the head and they went down, cracked their skull and were killed, it certainly would not be a case of murder as there was no intent to murder a person there, but there was intent certainly to harm that person. If that harm leads to death, it is too bad for the person charged that the other person did have an eggshell skull. It is not just assault. It is manslaughter, because it is death by that reckless misadventure on the part of the assailant. I suppose that it is a risk that people take when they choose to harm another person. I think what the government had set out initially is probably far more preferable to the way that it is seeking to amend it. I can understand why the government is seeking to amend it. That is referred to in a scrutiny report. But that, I think, should be taken as a guide only.

What we are doing here is dealing with anomalies with similar situations in other areas of the law. I think the law in relation to culpable driving is really quite stark there, as is the eggshell skull case. The government's amendment certainly waters down this bill and actually goes against other situations where the law does take into account the fact that offences are committed even though the offender may not have known in the culpable driving case that there was a child strapped into the back seat and would not necessarily have known that the person they were assaulting had, say, an eggshell skull. I think that this amendment actually goes against long-established laws there. Accordingly, it is not something that I or, indeed, the other members of the opposition, I understand, will be supporting.


Next page . . . . Previous page. . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . Search