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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (18 November) . . Page.. 2586 ..

MR RUGENDYKE (continuing):

inflammable liquid has been placed on the street surface beneath or near a tyre of the vehicle. Under the guidelines in the Bill, it would be possible to obtain permits from the Chief Police Officer to conduct or compete in events incorporating such activities, but, if the conditions are broken, penalties would be imposed.

Mr Speaker, I have mentioned that our present laws do not serve as a deterrent. I am advocating a double-edged sword for these offences which would certainly fill this void. I am urging the Assembly to introduce an amendment to the Act which targets lifting the louts off the road as well as confiscating their vehicles if necessary. Where the court convicts a person of one of these offences their licence could be cancelled for up to 12 months and the vehicle impounded for a period of three months. In the case of second and subsequent offences the vehicle could be forfeited to the Territory. Police would also have the discretionary option of seizing vehicles where there is a suspicion on reasonable grounds that it has been driven in contravention of the Act. Instances where a burnout was not deliberate could not result in a person being charged. There are provisions to protect people from having their vehicles impounded or confiscated when they did not give consent or did not know their car was being used for such an offence.

There were two instances in the last six months which come to mind where this Bill would have benefited the community and greatly assisted the police in restoring order to risky situations. In May there was an incident on Parkwood Road in my electorate where 15 vehicles and at least 40 people were involved in burnouts which blocked the road for at least another 20 vehicles belonging to innocent bystanders. When the police intervened, Mr Speaker, the situation turned hostile when the mob mentality kicked in. The police were never in a position to arrest or detain anybody because of the absence of laws against burnouts. In September, Mr Speaker, there were widely publicised problems in Lonsdale Street, Braddon, and other parts of the city throughout the weekend of a national car show. The conduct on the streets was not only a painful nuisance but also a sheer hazard. No driver is entitled to impose this behaviour on the rest of the community.

Mr Speaker, I believe we need to introduce protection for people who do the right thing when they are behind the wheel. I would encourage the Assembly to send a clear message to the hooligans on the streets. In a sense, Mr Speaker, if you are prepared to smoke them up, be prepared to saddle up for a spell on shanks's pony. I commend the Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned.


MR OSBORNE: Mr Speaker, I ask for leave to present the Health Regulation (Maternal Health Information) Bill 1998.

Leave not granted.

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