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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 2813 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

On 26 January 1998 the trailer was confiscated and impounded by the city ranger's office. By that time the trailer no longer carried registration plates. However, within the department it was understood that the legality of the confiscation was uncertain. The Roads and Public Places Act and Protection of Lands Act provide that objects and advertising signs should not be placed on territory or unleased land and prescribe penalties for breaches of the Acts, but they did not provide a power of confiscation or impoundment at the time the trailer was removed. This understanding of the legislation was based on the findings in the case of Munday v. the Territory in relation to the confiscation of signs.

Subsequent to the confiscation a departmental officer instructed the chief ranger that the trailer should be immediately returned to the owner. As the numberplates had been removed from the trailer, it could not legally be driven on the road except in the interests of public safety. A haulage contractor was therefore engaged to return it. The trailer was returned to the owner that same evening but not placed back in the position from which it had been confiscated. The haulage contractor's fee for the job was about $300. The department did not give consideration to recovering this amount from the owner of the trailer.

The Roads and Public Places Act was amended in November 1998 by the insertion of section 12F, which provides a legal right of removal and retention of signs and objects placed in public places. It also allows for the recovery of costs incurred in removing and storing objects. Costs of returning objects are not addressed as it is assumed that owners will collect them, given that the legal right to remove has been clarified by this amendment.


Annual Management Report

MR SPEAKER: For the information of members, I present the Auditor-General's Report No. 3 of 1999, entitled "Annual Management Report for the year ended 30 June 1999".

MR HUMPHRIES (Treasurer, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Community Safety): I ask for leave to move a motion authorising the publication of the report.

Leave granted.


That the Assembly authorises the publication of the Auditor-General's Report No. 3 of 1999.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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