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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 27 October 2010) . . Page.. 5170 ..

Question so resolved in the negative.

Question put:

That Mr Corbell’s amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 10

Noes 3

Mr Barr

Mr Hanson

Ms Hunter

Mr Rattenbury

Mr Corbell

Mr Hargreaves

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Doszpot

Ms Porter

Mrs Dunne

Mr Seselja

Ms Gallagher

Mr Smyth

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Amendment agreed to.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (3.22): Just briefly in closing, let me say that it is a shame that the Assembly has declined to take the opportunity to be involved in the decision making about the possibility of a general rollout of tasers in the ACT. I do not intend to reprosecute my entire case, but I think that the evidence that I provided to the Assembly this morning is indicative of the fact that this is a very substantive policy issue.

This issue is of significant concern to residents of the ACT. It is one in which evidence from other jurisdictions, both within Australia and around the world, is showing significant issues in relation to both police and public safety regarding the use of tasers and the impact that they can have on alleged offenders. I believe, and the Greens hold the view, that it is an appropriate matter for this Assembly to be involved in the decision making on and that, if we vote to bring forth some of this evidence into the public sphere, we do have the opportunity to have an informed debate in this place.

I note Mr Hargreaves’s comments about not being an expert and that we should leave it to the experts. But we make decisions here every day on matters on which we are not the experts and we rely on the evidence before us. I think this matter is no different from many of those other matters which, daily, we are forced to take decisions on.

I thank the minister for his offer of a discussion with the CPO and Mr Hanson for his free advice. I will take up that discussion with the CPO. Nonetheless, my central point was that this information should be available not just to me but to members of the public. I know that there are people in this community who have a real interest in this matter. They will not all have the same access to information that I have been offered, and I think that that diminishes the quality of the public debate on this important matter.

I suspect this issue will come back for further debate in this place at another time. In the meantime I look forward to the ongoing discussion on the appropriateness of this for rollout in the ACT for general usage amongst our police officers.

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