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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 11 Hansard (8 December) . . Page.. 3316 ..

MR OSBORNE: I am talking about senior constable - - -

Mr Rugendyke: The rift in the Osborne group is becoming apparent.

MR OSBORNE: In the job for 35 years and does not get above the rank of senior constable.

Mr Rugendyke: The Osborne group has fallen apart.

MR OSBORNE: A short seven years in the police force and I was a detective. It is obvious where the brains are in this part of the chamber.

Mr Hird: He was only a detective constable.

MR OSBORNE: Detective constable first class, I was, Mr Probationary Constable Hird. Mr Speaker, quite clearly, we do need to monitor the impacts of this legislation. I would be more than happy to have a look at some way of repealing it by way of numbers rather than just having some sort of sunset clause. As I said, I have never really been a fan of sunset clauses. I have put up with them grudgingly in the past in certain legislation in order to bring some people along on sensible proposals, but if this legislation is not working then quite clearly we would know before December 2000, which is two years away. While supporting the motive of Mr Stanhope, I will not be supporting the amendment. I do apologise for that, but I think I have given my reasons why.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (10.58): Mr Speaker, I have to put on the record also my own reluctance to support the amendment by Mr Stanhope. First of all, I have to say I really think Mr Stanhope has not adequately done his homework on the things that he said about this legislation. For my part, Mr Speaker, I think it is important that we send a signal to the agencies dealing with these problems that they are not on a short timeframe for dealing with these provisions; that they have only a two-year period after which, or before the end of which, they have to justify the continuation of these particular provisions. That is an unfair burden to place on their shoulders.

Bear in mind that these provisions are not new. They exist in all or almost all the other jurisdictions in Australia and they hardly need to be trialled in the ACT. Mr Stanhope seems to be suggesting that this is a very difficult concept; that we do not know that it is going to work and we had better trial it for 18 months in the ACT and see if it actually makes sense. We do not need to assume that the ACT is going to be so radically different from other parts of Australia that the provisions will apparently work well and effectively and without abuse for the most part in the rest of the Australian continent, but on the part of the ACT they are so problematical that they need to be explored through a trial process lasting 18 months. A sunset clause places a burden on the various agencies that have to administer these processes to come back and justify the continuation of the provisions after 18 months.

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