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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 12 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 3701 ..

MR KAINE (continuing):

read through the legislation in its totality, there are many questions that it raises. I will not go into the detail of that now. I think it would be better to deal with it as we deal with the Bills in the detail stage. I do have reservations, as I say. I am in accord with the Government in principle on this legislation, but I am a bit concerned about dealing with it today without full knowledge of the totality of the legislation and what it all means.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (12.17): Mr Speaker, I rise to support the legislation. A huge amount of time and effort has gone into the preparation of this legislation, not just by officers here in the ACT but right around Australia. I know that when Mr Kaine was the Minister this work was going on under him. I remember on a couple of occasions having discussions in general terms about the sorts of issues that were involved in this sort of legislation.

I think the point has been made very well that we are looking to get legislation that means that for people who are driving interstate the motor traffic rules and regulations are consistent. I think that is a very important part of ensuring the safety of our community in motor vehicles.

I will indicate now, Mr Speaker, that I will be exercising my independent prerogative with regard to some issues here that are about civil liberties. As you may be aware, when I accepted a position in the ministry I also set out a series of issues on which I disagreed with the Liberal Party and I was not bound by Cabinet solidarity on those issues. One of those issues is the issue that I raised two years ago and on which the Labor Party and the Greens supported me at that time. We prevented the Government proceeding with a sentencing system that was determined by the legislature rather than determined by courts. The role of the legislature is to set the broad parameters. It is the role of the courts to apply the law to individuals, and there are some parts of this legislation that inappropriately apply that. In fact, it is a second go at that same process. So, Mr Speaker, I will be following that through and I hope that I will be able to gain the support of members with regard to those issues.

As important in principle as those issues are, I still feel that the legislation is very important. It will have a significant impact on Canberrans and ensure that they can drive with greater safety because we will have consistent rules across Australia. Only last night, Mr Speaker, I walked past one of my children who was watching television and I saw an advertisement on the television that new road rules are coming into place on 1 December. It was an advertisement coming from the New South Wales Government; nevertheless, there is very good reason for us to try to be consistent with New South Wales in its implementation. Queensland, Victoria and South Australia are ready to start this legislation by 1 December, and we should be trying to do the same. Mr Speaker, I am delighted to support the legislation in principle.


(12.21): The Greens are also supportive of legislation which ensures that road regulation is consistent around Australia, although I do also have concerns at this point in time about being expected to deal with, particularly, the scrutiny of Bills committee report and the government response to that within an unacceptably short

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