Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2144 ..
Debate resumed from 27 March 1996, on motion by Ms Follett:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill, by leave, taken as a whole
MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (11.35): Mr Speaker, I wanted to have a detail stage debate in order to indicate that there is one point that needs to be taken up. The effect of Ms Follett's amendment of this legislation is to increase the penalty for a breach of section 27 of the Domestic Violence Act so that a person who is breaching a protection order in committing an act of stalking is punishable, in the case of a first offence, by two years' imprisonment; or, in the case of another offence, by five years' imprisonment.
Mr Moore: When the person breaks a court order.
MR HUMPHRIES: When the person breaks a court order. I think that is correct, yes. There is a mirror provision to section 27 of the Domestic Violence Act in the Magistrates Court Act 1930 which says, as it now stands, that a maximum penalty of six months' imprisonment is provided for a breach of a restraining order, or an interim restraining order. It would seem to me, Mr Speaker, that we ought to have a reflection of the increase in penalty in the Domestic Violence Act also in the Magistrates Court Act. However, that is not possible today. I merely indicate to the Assembly that I will give instructions to my department to move quickly to ensure that the decision we make today in passing this legislation, as I am sure we will, will be reflected quickly in amendments to the Magistrates Court Act to pick up the same point in that legislation.
Bill, as a whole, agreed to.
Bill agreed to.