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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 September 2011) . . Page.. 4098 ..


are appropriate to protect workers and the community in an environment that can be run by very big players.

The issue of fines was reviewed as part of the national review into model OH&S laws. The review report recommended significant increases in fines, taking into account the highest offence, comparative penalty levels in different jurisdictions and submissions received during a national consultation process. Given this, I think that the penalties proposed are probably some of the most appropriate and finely tuned penalties we have.

On the issue of strict liability, I would point out that the bill does contain various safeguards. For example, the strict liability for category 3 offences is not really strict liability at all. It contains a reasonable excuse defence and a recklessness test. While the Greens will continue to be very careful about agreeing to strict liability offences, I think that in this instance the government has made the case and justified the offences.

The government response to the scrutiny of bills committee provides good justifications for the offences. I am not persuaded by the issue that Mrs Dunne has raised about the penalties being listed in dollar form rather than as penalty units. Given this is harmonised legislation, it makes sense that the amounts are listed as dollars. It keeps jurisdictions consistent. Otherwise, if any jurisdiction changed the penalty unit then the fines would no longer be harmonised.

Question put:

That Mrs Dunne’s amendments Nos 2 to 4 be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 5

Noes 10

Mr Coe

Mr Smyth

Mr Barr

Ms Gallagher

Mrs Dunne

Dr Bourke

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Hanson

Ms Bresnan

Ms Hunter

Mr Seselja

Ms Burch

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Corbell

Mr Rattenbury

Question so resolved in the negative.

Amendments negatived.

Clauses 31 to 33 agreed to.

Clause 34.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (4.57): I move amendment No 5 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page4125].

This is an amendment that deals with volunteers and there have been a range of issues that have been raised by volunteer organisations about the impact that this legislation


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