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

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (8 December) . . Page.. 4012 ..

MR QUINLAN: Breast beating. Do you want testosterone charged thrown in as well? This legislation, particularly this provision, seems to be an instalment in a growing law and order campaign. A law and order appeal has built up. I have to say that it is emanating from Mr Rugendyke and Mr Osborne. They are setting out to employ some very simplistic logic to appeal to a certain section of the community. The John Laws school of simplistic logic seems to be followed. I am sure that lunatic Stan Zemanek would be very proud. You could probably get an hour out of this from that ratbag at night - "Yeah, lock 'em up". What I find disturbing is that in large part the Government is supporting it.

I cannot believe that Mr Humphries and Mr Stefaniak, in particular, with their backgrounds in the law and in justice, can support this sort of regressive, hardline approach because it will lead inevitably, as will some of the legislative provisions passed in this place yesterday, to inequitable treatment of people who commit the same offence. If you have a $200 car or a $20,000 car, it does not matter; it can be impounded. It can be impounded for three months. Who is going to look after it? Do you want your car impounded for three months?

My major concern with this is that it is a brick in the wall in terms of an emerging raft of these sorts of punitive provisions that have been brought forward to this place from that corner of the Assembly and supported by the Government. I have to ask why the Government is supporting this. Do you guys have some sort of trade-off in that you need Mr Osborne and Mr Rugendyke on side? So, the pressure is there to pass this legislation which in all logic really needs some work. Justice is about exactly that - justice. But no; this has been justified so far on the extreme case, the cock-eyed logic that Mr Humphries was using - something about: "These people are hard to catch, so, if you catch one, really give it to them". That has nothing to do with justice. In fact, I think it runs counter to justice and fair treatment.

All I want to do in my contribution to this debate is register a genuine concern that this appeal to a constituency out there, that we are hardline, tough and just take the simplistic approach to law, is going to leave Canberra, if it goes on for a considerable length of time because we have to maintain the flow, in a very regressed state. I thought this was an educated and progressive city, but we are going backwards.

Mr Speaker, I have to say that this provision for seizure of someone's property by someone who suspects with reasonable grounds is beyond the pale in terms of justice and fair treatment.

MR BERRY (4.14): Mr Speaker, let me start by saying that it is extremely important for me to publicly dissociate myself from this legislation, as my other Labor colleagues have. This is an extremely bad piece of law in many respects. I was not surprised to hear that Mr Humphries supports a swing to the right in the coalition which supports this. I acknowledge that Mr Moore takes a different position on individual rights issues from time to time. However, as my leader has said, Mr Moore is part of the mortar or cement which holds this coalition together, and he has to accept the responsibility of being part of that coalition, notwithstanding the comments he makes in relation to these matters. Regrettably, Mr Moore will not be able to escape the odium of that connection.

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