Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 14 Hansard (Thursday, 8 December 2011) . . Page.. 6006 ..
Finally, by providing that an interstate assessor can provide a pre-sentence report to an ACT court, the quality of corrective services is improved. Given the location of the ACT, it is not uncommon for the court to find guilty, convict and sentence offenders from interstate. Where an ACT court orders a pre-sentence report for an offender who is from interstate, in many cases there will be a greater body of information about that offender in the interstate jurisdiction. As a result, interstate assessors are likely to have better access to and knowledge of an offender who is from that jurisdiction and so in some cases are better placed to prepare the pre-sentence report than are ACT assessors.
While a number of the bill’s clauses will create efficiencies for ACT Corrective Services, they do not do so at the expense of the human rights enshrined in the Human Rights Act 2004. Limits on the fundamental rights protected by this are permissible only if the limits are authorised by a territory law and are reasonable and demonstrably justifiable in a democratic society. To the extent that clauses of the bill engage and limit rights located in the ACT’s Human Rights Act 2004, such limitation is reasonable and justifiable.
It is good government to review practices and procedures from time to time and to make necessary changes accordingly. While the amendments made by the bill are, individually, minor in nature, taken together I have no doubt that they will strengthen ACT Corrective Services and result in improved outcomes for the territory. I commend this bill to the Assembly.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.
Bill agreed to.
Administration and Procedure—Standing Committee
Statement by chair
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo): Pursuant to standing order 246A I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure. At its meeting on 6 December 2011 the committee discussed the recent Independent review of the three branches of government in the ACT against the Latimer House Principles by Professor John Halligan. That assessment identified issues in relation to the self-government act. The committee also noted that there have been recent reviews of the ACT public service and the National Capital Authority conducted by Dr Allan Hawke.
In both those reviews, issues related to the self-government act were flagged as worthy of review. The committee is also aware of evidence given by commonwealth public servants from the territories division of the Department of Regional Australia to a Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee inquiry on 21 March 2011, where it was stated: