Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 12 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 3699 ..

Mr Berry: It was a one-pager.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Berry, you will have a chance to speak.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I know Mr Berry is very keen to take part in this debate. If he wants to wait he will have a chance in a moment. Mr Speaker, I believe that there is a reasonable obligation on us to move forward with this legislation. I think it is legislation that reflects a very important national goal. I am sorry that Mr Berry and his colleagues do not see the need for that to happen in the shorter timeframe.

Obviously there is a problem with the ACT attempting to pick up and amend a large chunk of legislation in a very short time. Mr Hargreaves pointed out that other States had tabled the legislation earlier than we did. That no doubt is true, but other States have massive drafting resources and offices of parliamentary counsel that the ACT does not. Having said that, what the ACT Office of Parliamentary Counsel does is quite exceptional. It has the capacity to throw out work in a very short space of time. I think it is timely to commend that office on its work, and particularly John Leahy as the new head of that office on having achieved a great deal in a short space of time.

Mr Speaker, I think the arguments for this legislation are quite strong, quite compelling. It does replace a large number of provisions in ACT legislation dealing with all sorts of road offences, traffic requirements and issues concerning the regulation of trucks and other vehicles using the roads. This is an exciting development. It is one that the community should be pleased and proud to see happen. It is one that will serve a community like the ACT more than many other places in Australia, given that we are a small island in the middle of a much larger State. There is no citizen of this Territory who uses the roads who does not also at some point or other use the roads in New South Wales and perhaps elsewhere. So, having standardisation between at least New South Wales and the ACT is particularly important, but ACT citizens probably travel more than citizens of many other cities in Australia and reach other parts of Australia outside New South Wales even. Having the chance to have uniform laws is particularly important there as well.

Mr Speaker, I believe I have said all I need to say on this subject and I hope that members will give serious consideration to dealing with these Bills today. There has not been a great deal of time in which to consider these Bills. There has only been a month. That is not a huge amount of time, I concede, but they have been on the table for in excess of a month. They are important Bills. They do produce a national outcome, and I hope members will see that there is value in pursuing that kind of objective as soon as possible.


(12.11): Mr Speaker, let me say first that I agree in principle with the legislation that the Minister has tabled, but I am somewhat concerned at the detail that is lacking from that legislation and the fact that there seems to be some degree of urgency about it. I think the basic question is this: Does the Government want legislation at the end of the day that is good legislation? Attempting to push it through more quickly than is warranted is not guaranteed to achieve that outcome. Does the Government want

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .