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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 3870 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

However, if disqualified drivers are denied the opportunity even to apply, then the provisions are pointless. The philosophy of these amendments is, therefore, that whatever the circumstances; whatever their misdeeds; all person should be free to approach the court. And the courts should be free to determine a just response to every individual case.

This does not prevent us giving to the courts a very clear indication of the seriousness of the matters we are considering. Indeed, we have a responsibility to give a clear indication to the courts. But the notion of mandating a punishment by the Assembly undermines the court. It undermines the separation of powers. Like all undermining of such fundamental democratic principles, they start in small ways and slowly whittle away at individual rights.

Mr Berry: A slippery slope.

MR MOORE: I take my close colleague Mr Berry's comment. This is the slippery slope. What we need to do is ensure that each action we take respects these fundamental rights. It may be apparent to some members that I am not speaking as a member of the Government. Rather, I am exercising my prerogative as an Independent who separated myself from the Government on issues of civil liberties. I consider this a fundamental issue of how the legislature works and how it should work in relationship with the courts. It is the role of the legislature to put the legislation in place in the broad; it is the role of the courts to apply it to the individual.

MR KAINE (4.33): I do not agree with Mr Moore on this issue. The purpose of this legislation is to make our roads safer for the majority of road users. Sometimes you have got to be a bit rigid with those few people on the road who are irresponsible, careless or just plain foolhardy. I might accept Mr Moore's argument if this were not the end of a process; if it were just the beginning of a process. But if Mr Moore reads Division 3.4, of which subclause 45(3) is only a part, there is a process.

This action only results after a process where an infringement notice and a reminder notice have been served; the infringement notice has not been withdrawn; the infringement notice penalty has not been paid; indeed, a notice disputing liability has not been given. In other words, the person to whom the infringement notice has been given has had ample opportunity to clear the record and has chosen not to. If that is the case, then, if the person is the holder of a drivers licence, the road transport authority must suspend the licence. But there is a process before you get to that. Once the RTA gets to that point subclause 45(3) says:

A person whose driver licence or right to drive ... is suspended ... is not entitled to apply for, or be issued with, a restricted licence ...

I do not think that is in any way draconian. It is perfectly acceptable as an outcome for a person who has been through that process and has opted not to respond; and, having opted not to respond, then fronts up and says, "Well, gee, Mr Magistrate, I'd like an emergency or a special licence". I do not think that person should have the right to do that. The law as proposed by the Minister is valid. It recognises that this is only going

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