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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 2 Hansard (1 March) . . Page.. 400 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

proposed legislation, every six months the Auditor-General will report directly to the Assembly on the appropriateness of the Minister's certification. I commend the Bill to the house, Mr Speaker.

Debate (on motion by Ms Carnell ) adjourned.


MR RUGENDYKE (10.37): I present the Crimes Amendment Bill 2000, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.


That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, I present this Bill today as an extension of and follow-up to the knives legislation which the Assembly supported in 1998. The knives laws, which were the first I introduced in this chamber, prevent the possession of knives in public places and prevent the sale of knives to people under 16 years of age. This Bill simply intends to make it compulsory for retail outlets that sell knives to display a notice that it is an offence to sell a knife to a person under the age of 16.

Official police figures show that the introduction of the knives laws has enhanced community safety in the ACT. This morning, I was advised by the Attorney-General's Department that an estimated 32 knives, or more than five per month, have been seized since September last year. I should point out that this figure includes seizures for the purpose of evidence. Those figures certainly indicate that the laws are working, especially when compared with the official figures from the first nine months of operation, where 20 knives were seized.

I congratulate our police on implementing these laws in such a successful manner. In fact, I inspected the confiscated knives last year and I can vouch that a range of implements were impounded. They were in all shapes and sizes, but there was one common theme: They were all potentially lethal. In fact, it was horrifying to think that previously people were allowed to carry these types of weapons in our community without good reason.

Mr Speaker, the early figures also revealed that there were no charges for selling knives to persons under the age of 16. I believe that the retailers have accepted these laws in a responsible manner. However, I feel that this Bill can further assist retailers to communicate and press the laws in the community. It is consistent for retail outlets to display offence notices under other laws, such as the sale of tobacco to minors. This is a similar protective measure for retail outlets in the case of knives. I commend the Bill to the house.

Debate (on motion by Mr Humphries ) adjourned.

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