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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 10 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 3111..


MR SESELJA (continuing):

committee members attended two relevant and informative conferences, one organised by the ANU's School of Law in February this year and the other organised by the Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council, held in Melbourne on Friday and Saturday 21 and 22 July. The council is chaired by Professor Arie Freiberg, a legal practitioner and academic of considerable prominence.

The date of the conference coincided with another conference, "Legislatures and Human Rights"-another area of significance to the legal affairs committee, albeit in its scrutiny role. Dr Deb Foskey and Ms Karin MacDonald attended the latter, while the previous chair of the legal affairs committee, Mr Stefaniak, together with the committee secretary, attended the sentencing conference. In fact, apart from the Victorian Attorney-General, Mr Rob Hulls, who opened the conference, Mr Stefaniak was the only politician in attendance. The other attendees were judges, legal practitioners, policy makers, police and academics.

The main focus of the conference was the role of public opinion in sentencing policy, how public opinion is measured or assessed, and, if deemed appropriate, how you incorporate input from the public into the sentencing process. Much of the Saturday sessions were spent in hearing about different systems for advising on sentencing policy and options and for the incorporation of public opinion, both internationally and within Australia.

Presenters were from as far afield as Strathclyde University in Glasgow, the United States, South Africa, New Zealand and all states of Australia. There was expertise from parole boards, academia, the courts, including the United States District Court, sentencing advisory panels and commissions from Australia and overseas. Conference attendees were also provided with a viewpoint from high-profile media commentators on the justice system.

I was not there but I am told that the conference was both interesting and informative. The committee is still awaiting the conference papers but a copy of the conference program is available from the committee office for information.

Public Accounts-Standing Committee

Statement by chair

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo): Mr Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. On 15 November 2005, Auditor-General's report No 6 of 2005 entitled Government procurement was referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for inquiry. Consequently, the committee received a briefing from the Auditor-General in relation to the report on 8 February 2006. The committee considered inquiring into the report and resolved that it does not warrant further inquiry.

On 19 September 2006, Auditor-General's report No 5 of 2006 entitled Rhodium Asset Solutions Ltd was referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for inquiry. Consequently, the committee received a briefing from the Auditor-General in relation to the report on 11 October 2006 and resolved to inquire further into the report. The committee is expecting to report to the Legislative Assembly for the ACT on the Auditor-General's report as soon as practicable.


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