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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 2676 ..

MR RUGENDYKE (continuing):

Mr Speaker, I urge my Assembly colleagues to support these refinements of the original proposal to ensure that the community receives maximum benefit from having the Children's Court Magistrate. The changes I propose do not alter the intent of the initial proposal for a Children's Court Magistrate. The purpose and role of the Children's Court Magistrate remain the same. The amendments are essentially administrative and are designed to enhance flexibility. The Bill stipulates the circumstances in which the Chief Magistrate may assign a magistrate to act as Children's Court Magistrate. It ensures that the Children's Court Magistrate is appointed to hear relevant cases, but day-to-day matters can be broadly administered. These amendments recognise that the Chief Magistrate has the authority to run his court in a flexible manner, without compromising the need for or the role of the Children's Court Magistrate. I commend the Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Osborne ) adjourned.


MR OSBORNE (10.59): I present the Motor Traffic (Amendment) Bill (No. 3) 1999, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR OSBORNE: Mr Speaker, I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, the two Bills I am presenting this morning are complementary and I will be speaking in greater detail about the issue of drink-driving in the second of the two Bills. However, I believe that a more aggressive approach is warranted by this Assembly towards drink-drivers.

The first Bill makes a significant change in the event of the cancellation of a special licence. Members will note that the Motor Traffic Act already provides for the cancellation of a special licence upon the holder having two or more demerit points recorded against the licence. This provision is to recognise that, while a special licence can be issued where exceptional circumstances are warranted, the privilege of having a second chance is not to be abused.

This Bill establishes that the original suspended licence, together with the special licence, are to be cancelled, with the person being disqualified from holding any form of licence for the entire period of the original disqualifications. This change is, hopefully, tougher than is currently the case and, hopefully, will provide a greater incentive for those who are being given a second chance to obey the road rules, not only for their own safety, but also for the safety of other drivers and other road users. I ask that the Bill be supported.

Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth ) adjourned.

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