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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 12 Hansard (20 November) . . Page.. 3918 ..

MS FOLLETT (continuing):

I think it is important that, once we are a part of this formal scheme, we do monitor its operation in the Territory. I trust that there will be some monitoring of the witness protection scheme undertaken, because I think the threat of reprisals, the threat of harm to yourself or your family, is the greatest of all possible disincentives for a witness in a serious criminal matter. As crimes get more and more sophisticated, it is essential that witnesses are able to come forward and give evidence which may resolve serious criminal matters and give that evidence in the confidence that they will not themselves have to pay a lifelong penalty for having done so. We will be supporting the legislation.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (4.53), in reply: Mr Speaker, this Bill, on the face of it, is a fairly strange piece of legislation that allows the falsification of documentation and allows for information to be kept from people; it allows for false passports, false identities, to be issued by government.

Mr Berry: It sounds like a preselection ballot.

MR HUMPHRIES: It does a bit, does it not? All of us honest politicians in this house who have had this secret yearning to be involved in a cover-up of some kind can now vote for this legislation and satisfy their yearning without the slightest degree of guilt. This is extraordinary legislation; but it is necessary, for the reasons Ms Follett has indicated. There are, fortunately, very rare cases of people who need this level of protection. I have no hesitation in feeling able to facilitate that protection, and I hope the rest of us feel similarly and support this legislation.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.


Motion (by Mr Humphries) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Illegal Parking

MS FOLLETT (4.54): I want to raise very briefly in this adjournment debate an issue that was referred to in question time, and that is the matter of parking and control of parking. Ms Horodny asked the appropriate Minister an extremely thoughtful and careful question in relation to parking and got the usual non-answer from that Minister. In the course of that answer I recollected that I had also raised with the Minister for Urban Services another matter about parking and that I was very concerned over the answer that he gave me.

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