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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 21 August 2008) . . Page.. 3520 ..


MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (8:24): As I said in my earlier comments in moving this amendment, there are a range of procedural issues that need to be addressed prior to this bill taking effect. They include the putting in place of a range of infrastructure, including the fit-out of the remote witness facility, improvements in court technology and training for police. These provisions recognise that that will take a period of time. The advice from my department and the courts is that that is the period of time required to ensure that those procedures are in place.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 2, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 3 agreed to.

Clause 4.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (8.25): I seek leave to move amendments Nos 2 and 3 circulated in my name together.

Leave granted.

MR CORBELL: I move amendments Nos 2 and 3 circulated in my name together [see schedule 3 at page 3548].

The bill currently affords special protections for the giving of evidence to victims and other vulnerable witnesses in violent offence proceedings. The term “violent offence” is currently defined by reference to a list of violent crimes under the Victims of Crime (Financial Assistance) Act 1983. Government amendment No 2 inserts two new definitions of “less serious violent offence” and “serious violent offence” into the bill. The new definition is to distinguish between violent crimes on the basis of the severity of punishment that would be imposed. Less serious violent offences are categorised as offences punishable by a term of imprisonment of five years or less. Serious violent offences are characterised as offences punishable by a term of imprisonment of more than five years.

Government amendment 3 is consequential to government amendment 2 and makes the requisite changes I have just outlined in the other part of the bill.

Amendments agreed to.

Clause 4, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 5 and 6, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 7.


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