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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (8 December) . . Page.. 4020 ..

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (4.43): I will be very brief. Having heard Mr Kaine, his position is not that different from the one that I put forward, although I did point out that I do not have an objection to the notion of having a vehicle seized for a very short while under these sorts of circumstances; for example, something in the order of 24 hours to 48 hours, provided it is then returned. That would cool the situation down, and it is something that I think we should take into account. I suggest it is quite clear that Mr Rugendyke has the numbers today with Mr Kaine supporting him, but it will be a different story when the substantive legislation comes through.

I would suggest that Mr Rugendyke organise a round-table conference perhaps early in February so that we can get an agreed position on some of these issues. On some issues we might not be able to agree. Members would recall that we did that with the mental health legislation. In that case I think we were able to resolve everything. In some cases there have been issues still left to be resolved, but where we can reach agreement we ought to do that. In that way, we will get a satisfactory piece of legislation for all of us.

MR HARGREAVES (4.44): I want to reiterate that the Labor Party supports what Mr Rugendyke is trying to do. We are supportive of the Bill itself. There are three parts to it with which we are discomforted. I want to address my remarks through you, Mr Speaker, to Mr Kaine in this instance. We agree that the long-term debate on this issue will occur in February or March. We accept that. What we are saying is that, if you want to trial it for three months, if you want to have some time out and look at it for three months, let us do it without the draconian measures.

Let us do it without having the seizure components in there. Let us take out those parts which talk about impounding and forfeiture. Let us provide the opportunity for Mr Rugendyke's Bill to be trialled during these three months on the basis of the significant financial penalties that people will suffer as a result of this. After all, we have to do this in two stages. Why do we not take that opportunity to trial it, as Mr Kaine is saying? Do we really need to go first bang into it and say, "This is your first offence. You have lost your car for three months."?

Those three months are going to go past the deadline by which we start talking about this new legislation. What I am asking members to do tonight is support the Bill but take away the possibility of forfeiture of a motor car on the second offence. After all, the punishment does not really fit the crime. Take out the impounding of a motor vehicle for three months for the first offence, because again that punishment does not fit the crime. Take away the seizure on suspicion.

It is pretty obvious when a burnout is happening who the perpetrator is. That is pretty clear. I think we have significant sanctions within the Bill to really slug it to these people if they do it. I am very happy to strengthen the arm of the police by giving it specific mention and by not lumping it in with negligent driving. This is a significant matter, and we want the community to sit up and take notice. This is behaviour that we are not going to tolerate.

If this does not work, if we find over this three-month period that people are saying, "We can pay the $2,000. Who cares? We will take the loss of points. Who cares?", then we will revisit it. Mr Rugendyke will have additional information to bring forward to

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