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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 28 November 2018) . . Page.. 4948 ..


MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (11.51), in reply: I am genuinely disappointed. I make the point as well that, as Mr Rattenbury said, for too long people have been criminalised for personal use. In the ACT for a long time now there have been no criminal penalties for personal use of a certain quantity. It has been decriminalised. There are penalties but they are not criminal penalties. I just make that point. It is always important to understand the law, as I know Madam Assistant Speaker does. There is a difference between getting a fine and a summons for a criminal penalty. And that needs to be understood.

On the view that this is an attempt to stall, I think this legislation will get up. I think it is pretty clear from the public statements and what has been said in this chamber that this will get up. Whether it gets up in February next year or later next year, it is not going to have the implications that the Labor Party expects. What is the urgency? Why is it that we have to rush this through? I genuinely am struggling to understand that. Why would we not need to wait perhaps six months so that when we do debate this issue we have the benefit of a committee report to do that? I simply do not understand what the urgency is to have this legislation passed. On many issues there is an urgency, there is a degree of urgency. In this case there is not.

Mr Pettersson says also it is a simple piece of legislation; it is quite brief. And I would agree with that. But often it is the more simple pieces of legislation that have the more significant consequences. There are SLAB bills. There are huge bills that sometimes we get through with technical amendments that actually do not have a lot of policy effect. There can be very simple bills that have a massive policy effect—things like the same-sex marriage bill. The federal bill—I do not think it was a change to more than a couple of lines—had massive changes, in my view for the better.

Simply arguing that it is not a big piece of paper, a lot of pieces of paper, is not a coherent argument, because it is the effect of that legislation. I have not seen all the submissions. Mr Pettersson has said, “You have had that draft exposure bill for a long time.” What I have not seen is all the submissions that have come in—those that support, those that oppose—so that I can go through those and explore them in much more detail.

Mr Pettersson says he has had dozens, hundreds of responses. What is the ability, then, to go through those, talk and inquire, investigate what are the issues raised by each of those people that submitted to Mr Pettersson? What I would say is that there is often a difference between the submissions that you get to a bill from a member of this place and those that go to a committee. If I put out a bill it is just the nature of it that I am going to get many more people on my side of politics and of my view responding, because you put it out through your networks, whereas a committee is much more apolitical and you are much more likely to get engagement from people on both sides of the debate, not just those supporting it.

Mr Barr: Except when you try to manipulate the process of submissions, say.

MR HANSON: Well done; good contribution to the debate, Mr Barr. I am disappointed. There is no political gain for me in referring this to a committee. My


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