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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (13 February) . . Page.. 25 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

law demonstrates that it is not solely a legislative problem. That would have changed the legal landscape in a more functional way. The context of the ACT's legislation is not really as good as it should be and I hope our government will lobby for a better approach from its federal colleagues.

The second part of this legislation just tidies up the Crimes Act, according to Mr Humphries, the then minister, but those changes include changing the definition of "loaded arms" so that any firearm pointed at someone is taken to be loaded, unless the defendant can prove otherwise. In fact, this shifts the burden of proof on loaded arms to the defendant. That is more than tidying up, and we have just heard about more of the so-called tidying up from Mr Stanhope. I do believe that the Assembly should have had the benefit of the scrutiny of bills committee's report earlier and a more accurate description of the change in the explanatory memorandum. The Greens will agree to this change following advice, but I would ask the minister to be more careful in future in describing changes as merely tidying up.

Consultation on this bill was left largely to the efforts of the Commonwealth, through the Modern Criminal Code Officers Committee, and they did consult extensively. However, in the ACT the government arranged for the Canberra Rape Crisis Service, the sex industry reference group and the Migrant Resources Centre to be approached. I understand that the Migrant Resources Centre did not respond. Perhaps it was not the ideal group to approach. I hope that the outreach following passage of this bill will improve on this record. Without the Commonwealth protection for people here without visas and without witness protection, the community will be left to offer what support it can to anyone thinking of assisting with a prosecution.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General) (12.06): I thank members for their comments and their support in principle for the bill. I will come to Mr Stanhope's amendment to the definition of "offensive weapon" which he has just given to me, but I will deal first with other points that he raised. This legislation is model legislation. It is legislation that was agreed would be implemented across the country. I understand that South Australia has already implemented basically the legislation that we have here and other states will be doing so.

Mr Stanhope raised a question about the application of proposed subsection 92ZB (2) to someone providing finance to someone else actually conducting a business, which reads:

A person commits an offence if the person-

  1. conducts a business that involves the sexual servitude of others; and
  2. knows that, or is reckless about whether, the business involves the sexual servitude of others.

"Conducts a business" includes taking part in the management of the business, exercising control or direction over the business, or providing finance for the business. The explanatory memorandum is of assistance here in that it says:

The definition is inclusive so that other conduct that amounts to conducting a business would also be caught by the provision.

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