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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 30 June 2010) . . Page.. 2875 ..


force, and it behoves legislators always to bear in the back of their mind the consequences for individual citizens who will be confronted by and affected by this legislation.

People will go to jail as a result of the piece of legislation that we are just passing. That is an onerous responsibility each of us has and accepts and needs to be mindful of as we construct criminal legislation—legislation with criminal impacts and effects. People will go to jail as a result of the legislation or the bill that passes today. That is probably right and appropriate in the circumstances, but we do need to be absolutely and utterly sure and ensured that the legislation is appropriately constructed, that the rules of evidence have been given due effect, that issues around proof are as they should be, that there is no gap or glitch within the scheme as created and that people’s human rights are not inappropriately or perversely affected as a result of an implication in relation to the legislative scheme that we have debated today—that they are not impacted on adversely as a result of an oversight.

I have to say it is on that basis that the government will not be formally supporting the legislation, although we support the outcome. I just do not have the degree of comfort that allows me to commit the government to this legislation today. It may be that I could have in a few weeks time. Today I do not and will not. Having said that, I do hope that it is successfully implemented. I do hope that there are no issues with it. I do hope that it achieves a tick from the human rights commissioner and from the Department of Justice in relation to its human rights compatibility. I hope, as a result of the legislation that will pass today, that our roads will be safer and that we have taken a good and positive step. Those that drive and put their own lives and the lives of others at risk will be certainly impacted by the legislation—by the scheme.

So my hope and the hope of the government is that we have today produced good legislation that will produce the outcomes that each of us desire and hope for, but I must say, in the context of the advice I have and my own capacity in the very, very limited time available to assess the range of issues that have been put forward and advanced—as a result of the fact that the only consultation that was undertaken on this bill in detail was that undertaken by the government—and in the circumstance that I have not yet even had the time to digest or even read the majority of the submissions, it is very, very difficult, I think, to support the process.

So we support the outcome. I hope it is a good outcome. I hope the legislation works, and I would just signal now—and I would ask for the forbearance of the members in the Assembly in relation to this last comment I make—that, as a result of the legislation passing today, I am advised by my officials that the drink-driving legislation which I tabled last week is no longer potentially or possibly operable, as a result of the impact of these particular changes, and I will have to withdraw it. It is going in the bin, and we will start again. So I am looking for your forbearance in relation to the fact that the government will now have to withdraw its drink-driving reforms of last week, because they are no longer compatible with the scheme that has been accepted today. So I am just foreshadowing now that there will be a delay in the passage of the drink-driving legislation. I just ask for your support and forbearance and cooperation in relation to that.


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