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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (8 December) . . Page.. 4013 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

This legislation is bad law because it seeks to label a certain group of people in the community, young people. In places like Singapore, it is an offence to chew chewing gum - to have chewing gum even. It was once an offence to have long hair. You had to get your hair cut before you were allowed into the country. I wonder whether those members who support this might seek to include an extra provision which would get at these sullen young people by putting a premium on the penalty for wearing their baseball caps backwards, which is an extremely inoffensive presentation of themselves in the community.

This is outrageous legislation. To suggest that people's property should be taken off them for these sorts of offences is absolutely outrageous. I was unfairly Gary-ed, I think, by Mr Humphries in relation to - - -

MR SPEAKER: Withdraw that remark.

MR BERRY: Mr Humphries was specifically dealing with questions yesterday. I think I can make the point here. I was misrepresented. It is a terminology that we have developed in the Labor Party. "Gary -ed" is an economic use of words. Everybody understands what it means. I think it will make it into the lexicon in due course.

MR SPEAKER: Is it in the lexicon?

MR BERRY: It will be there one day.

MR SPEAKER: Withdraw it.

MR BERRY: I withdraw, Mr Speaker. Let me deal with the principles of legislation first. I think it is badly framed in the first place. On any reading of the matter, one could be held to have been involved in a burnout if one were bogged in a car park and had to spin the wheels in the mud excessively. Burnout in relation to a motor vehicle other than a motor cycle, according to the amendments moved by Mr Rugendyke, is the operation of a vehicle in a way that causes the vehicle to undergo sustained loss of traction by one or more driving wheels in a public place. Essentially, that could mean that the car is bogged. There is not much burnout in that.

There are other issues which are important to acknowledge. When the police get it into their minds to do something about this, they have enormous success. Recently there was an event in inner Canberra where the police decided to mount a campaign, and they fixed the problem quickly because they took it into their heads to deal with the matter because the laws are available to them now to deal with the issue.

It is also the case, on my understanding of it, that there may be some application of environmental laws in the ACT in relation to the matter. There is certainly provision in the Motor Traffic Act, on my last recollection, for pouring substances on the roadway. I think that even goes so far as water. There are avenues open to police to deal with this matter. Do you think this is going to make any difference to the person who does what is now described as a burnout out in front of Bill Stefaniak's house in the middle of the night?

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