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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 3872 ..

MR HARGREAVES (4.39): Mr Deputy Speaker, I wish to lend our support to Mr Moore's amendment No.1. There will be certain parts of the listed amendments Mr Moore put down with which we will disagree. But predominantly we agree on the fundamental issue that there are passages in this legislation which deny people the right to appeal to the court against a judgment. That is what it is all about. I was really disappointed to see this sort of legislation put into national transport reforms legislation. That was totally unnecessary and unwarranted.

If we are dealing with national transport reforms we should have stuck with it. Mandatory sentencing is not that, it is an agenda being run by other people. It has found its way in here by stealth. I am not impressed with that. We get back to the situation of denial of rights. It is a denial of rights. If a person has committed all sorts of breaches of the Motor Traffic Act, there are various penalties and guidelines through it. The Government says, "But the courts need guidelines". Well the courts do not need these sorts of guidelines.

This legislation is introduced because somebody has not been happy with some of the sentencing by the courts. They want to stiffen it up; nothing short of that. I hear the Minister for Education saying there is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with us legislating a harshness on the part of the court. That is a clever piece of work. A clever comment, that is. You go and tell that to the family of a sole income earner who has that income removed. Do you want me to put down one example? I can do that. This does not allow the court to have that kind of discretion. It just removes that discretion entirely. This legislation is peppered with it.

I am surprised that the ever compassionate Mr Stefaniak should make such a comment. I would have expected it from his colleague to his immediate left. But I would never have expected it from him. I considered him a far more compassionate man than that. Clearly, I was wrong.

Mr Deputy Speaker, this subclause denies a person the right to say, "Okay, then, there are extenuating circumstances. There is an avenue for me to appeal to". If those circumstances do not warrant a change to it, then they do not get it. This one says, "A person is not entitled to apply for". It is taking away the people's right to apply to the courts.

Mr Moore was spot-on when he said, "This is an issue of separation of powers". The legislature is not put in place to tell the courts what they cannot do. Put some parameters up, certainly, but do not tell the courts whom they can and cannot allow to have their case judged by. It is not on. Mr Deputy Speaker, we will be seeking to put through a range of amendments which remove from these transport regulations predominantly all the references to that kind of restriction.

MS TUCKER (4.43): I will address the issues of drink-driving. The Greens fully support the objective of deterring drink-driving and irresponsible driving. There is no doubt that drink-driving is a major contributor to road accidents in the ACT and elsewhere. Research has shown that even quite small amounts of alcohol increase the risk of accidents. For drivers with a blood alcohol content between 0.02 and 0.05 the risk of involvement in a serious crash is more than five per cent for that of sober

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