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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 24 September 2019) . . Page.. 3771 ..


MS BERRY: I do not have that information at hand, so I will take the question on notice and provide the information to the Assembly when I can get it.

MR COE: Minister, do you have any long-term trend information about transfers to and from independent and Catholic schools?

MS BERRY: Again I will have to take that question on notice. What I can say is that there has been a significant increase in enrolments in ACT government schools. It is something that the ACT government is extremely proud of, that there is great confidence in our public schools and people are choosing to attend their local school.

MR WALL: Minister, have the capacity issues in a number of north side government schools had any impact on an influx of enrolments into non-government schools?

MS BERRY: No, I do not believe so.

Justice—cannabis

MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the Attorney-General and relates to the government’s response to the HACS committee report on the cannabis bill. The government’s response to recommendation 11 says that it will “consider appropriate steps to ensure that the intent of the bill is delivered on as implemented”. What do you consider appropriate steps and what practical assistance and direct support will the government provide if a matter concerning the amounts of cannabis covered by the proposed bill comes before the courts?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Ms Le Couteur for the question. Practically there have been a number of steps that have been taken in relation to the development of the bill. Certainly that has meant that there has been engagement with the commonwealth. There has been engagement with the AFP. There has been engagement across the ACT government in terms of the matters that will be before the Assembly tomorrow, and I do not want to pre-empt the debate that is happening tomorrow.

Certainly in relation to matters that may or may not appear before the court I can let Ms Le Couteur know that if there is at some stage in the future a prosecution in an ACT court under a commonwealth law for cannabis possession and the defendant seeks to rely on what may be passed tomorrow then, as the ACT Attorney-General, I can intervene in those proceedings as of right under the Court Procedures Act 2004. If a person is prosecuted under a commonwealth law in a commonwealth court then the ACT Attorney-General can only intervene under the judiciary’s right if there is a constitutional matter raised, otherwise it would be a matter of leave of the court.

Whether or not any intervention is justified or appropriate in any particular circumstance would clearly depend on the facts of those particular cases and it would be unhelpful to be speculating on hypotheticals at this stage.

MS LE COUTEUR: The bill’s proponent, Mr Pettersson, and the media have described the bill as legalising cannabis. Does the government believe that this is the


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