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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (19 October) . . Page.. 3324 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

Another reason given is that sometimes young people, according to Ms Tucker, admit to offences they did not do. I practised here for about nine years as a prosecutor, and in private practice for three or four years, and I am racking my head to think of a situation where that occurred. When people defend matters the facts might be in dispute, and a court might make a ruling in relation to that. But in terms of people pleading guilty to something they did not do, I cannot recall that happening for a younger person or indeed an older person.

Sometimes people plead guilty, and the court does not accept it because of technicalities. Our system is particularly well served by checks and balances. This would add an additional complication, which could cause more problems than it would solve. We have been well served by the current section, which has been reiterated in this new legislation.

MR RUGENDYKE (5.51): I had something scathing to say about this amendment, but since Ms Tucker asked us to be nice I shall refrain. I do not believe this clause adds anything of value. I note that the old section 30 of the Children's Services Act 1986 has been almost mirrored at clause 77 in the new Bill. This proposed amendment is something extra to the old section 30 and on top of the new section 77. Police practice is such that the provision that this proposed section implies is a matter of police procedure, one that happens in the normal course of police duties. I see no need for this section, and I will not be supporting it.

Amendment negatived.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education) (5.53):I move a technical amendment, which reads:

Page 33, line 39, subparagraph (2) (a) (iii), omit "legal practitioner", substitute "lawyer".

Amendment agreed to.

Postponed clause, as amended, agreed to.

Postponed clause 78

MS TUCKER (5.54): I move amendment No. 7, which reads:

Page 34, line 35, after paragraph (a), insert the following paragraph:

"(aa) if the young person is indigenous, take all reasonable steps to notify a relevant indigenous organisation; and".

This amendment ensures that, if a police officer detains an indigenous child or young person, the police officer notifies the relevant indigenous organisation. This is a gesture aimed at ensuring that the recommendations of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families and the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody are inserted into crucial sections of this

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