Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (8 December) . . Page.. 4025 ..
MR HARGREAVES (continuing):
We will not have changed the attitude or the culture one zot. We will have just been vicious, vindictive and revengeful - the sorts of traits I see coming out of Mr Rugendyke and Mr Osborne today. I do not think we need to go down this path. We can wait and debate this matter again in February or March, whenever it is brought forward, when we change it to the Road Transport Act. We do not have to introduce forfeiture of a motor car on a trial basis.
It is possible that at Christmas time some kid could lose his car. If it is impounded, he does not get it back until after we have finished debating it in March. Let us just think about that over the Christmas period. There will be people our age down a highway, intoxicated and in charge of a motor car. There will be a death in New South Wales; we can guarantee that. We are supposed to be having national transport rules that address this sort of thing, to get those sorts of people off the highway. This is not national transport reform. This is not national road rules reform. This is a single agenda. This is an ACT special.
The whole of New South Wales does not embrace this, as Mr Stefaniak says. You cannot get done for this in Queanbeyan. You cannot get done for this in Wagga or in Goulburn. You do get done for it in Newcastle, I admit, but you do not get done for it across New South Wales. There is nothing national about this. If you want to bolster police power so that they can take a car away from a kid who is doing a burnout, make him leave it over the weekend. "Bad luck, mate" - fine, we can talk about that again in March. I note what you said, Mr Kaine, when you were looking at it. You went through it and ruled out all those pieces about forfeiting. We do not like the impounding either. All the amendment seeks to do is remove the power to impound or forfeit. The other two are subsequent to that.
I do not see that as fair. It is not the sort of crime that requires this sort of measure. It is not going to change behaviour or culture. You know it is not going to change the culture. You are just going to take one or two people out of the game and you are not going to change the culture one zot, because people who do this sort of thing need some other measure to change their culture. Just taking a car off one or two people is not going to do it, particularly not at this time. So I ask you, very sincerely, not to allow this to go through.
Mr Rugendyke told, I believe, an untruth when he said I proposed no alternative. I did. I said a $2,000 fine was adequate. You have got a kid who is 18 years old. He cops his first burnout. He is stuck in his peer group under peer pressure. He burns a bit of rubber, gets pinged by the police, and cops a $2,000 fine for his troubles. But he is not a recalcitrant. He is not a hoon. He is just someone who has been caught up. He is going to suffer the same sorts of penalties. He is going to get a $2,000 fine. Recalcitrants are the ones who have got the "bombs"; tyres soaked in diesel and what not; they are going to do it. Taking their car is not going to make them change that much; they just change the car. But you are going to take a car off a kid for three months on his first offence. He does not get that much for exceeding the alcohol limit - a much more serious issue. Driving recklessly and negligently is much more serous. The draftsman - Mr Rugendyke himself - has admitted that this sort of behaviour is akin to negligent driving by virtue of the size of the fine.