Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 5 Hansard (11 May) . . Page.. 1662..
MR STEFANIAK: The courts usually will not fine someone if they clearly have no ability to pay. They will usually do something else. You will probably find that if someone has done something reasonably serious and the court thinks that a fine of $1,000 would be appropriate but the person could not pay it the court will say that the person can do 50 hours of community service. There is a range of sentencing options now which courts can use short of imprisonment, and invariably do.
I think those factors need to be taken into account, but I would commend to the attorney, the idea which I did consider at one stage of extending to more than just traffic matters that very effective system of taking away people's third party insurance, registration and licences and not renewing them if they do not pay fines because it is such a useful deterrent, it is such a useful way of ensuring that people live up to their responsibilities and pay their fines. People do not get fined for nothing, be it for traffic matters or criminal matters; they have done something wrong.
I am sure that most of us have paid for traffic infringement notices. I do not know how many of us have paid money for criminal offences or misdemeanours other than just traffic matters and I do not care, but at the end of the day you were doing something wrong. If you were doing something wrong in a criminal matter it would be more up the scale, more serious, than speeding, getting a parking ticket or something like that and all the more reason for you to pay your fine. If we can have a system whereby you cannot have your licence renewed and you can have your third party insurance and registration taken away for something as minor as a parking matter, why should it not apply to some of the lesser criminal matters that attract fines in our community? I make those comments in relation to these amendments and I will not be voting for them.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for Planning) (11.22): Mr Speaker, the government will not be supporting the amendments. In the interests of brevity, I say that it will not be doing so for the reasons I indicated in my closing speech.
Schedule 1 agreed to.
Remainder of bill, by leave, taken as a whole and agreed to.
Bill agreed to.
Asbestos Legislation Amendment Bill 2006 (No 2)
MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (11.23): Mr Speaker, the opposition will be pleased to support the bill that has been introduced. We appreciate the courtesy extended by the minister in giving us advance notification and giving us the background to the circumstances that have led to the urgency of this matter and we are pleased to lend our support to the bill as proposed.