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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (15 February) . . Page.. 274 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

Then in section 494, dealing with possession of an offensive weapon with intent to commit an offence, the definition is:

"offensive weapon" means any thing capable of being used for causing bodily injury.

We propose to replace those definitions with a single comprehensive definition. If it is all right for stalking, I can think of any number of other equally worrying instances where a definition like that should apply. It is a simpler way of doing it. If it is okay for stalking, I cannot see why we now need what Mr Stanhope is suggesting-effectively, two definitions. The whole idea is to have one definition. Until today, no-one had expressed grave concerns about it, certainly not the relevant agencies. I do not think I need to say more.

MS TUCKER (4.55): I still do not agree with what Mr Stefaniak is saying. There are two crimes: robbery and armed robbery. Mr Stefaniak said to me before that you cannot commit a robbery without having intent. But if you commit an armed robbery, you may be sentenced to a much longer term of imprisonment. The definition of armed robbery says:

A person who commits robbery and at the time of doing so has with him or her a firearm, an imitation firearm, an offensive weapon ...

Mr Stefaniak: Because it is more dangerous. That is why it is a separate offence.

MS TUCKER: This is the key point, Mr Stefaniak. You have not convinced us at all. You can nod your head to Mr Rugendyke. He has not said a word. An offensive weapon will be critical in determining whether or not a person is guilty of an armed robbery. But you now have a definition of offensive weapon which does not link with intent. I am not saying the person did not intend to rob the supermarket. This is what we are concerned about. You have brought in a definition which is so broad that it does not link with intent. That language, "offensive weapon", now has no linking with intent, and that could be the difference between 14 and 25 years.

I have been talking to civil libertarians in this town. Mr Moore should be listening to this.

Mr Stefaniak: You still have sections 493, 494 and 27 but a common definition for offensive weapon. You still have intent. You have to have intent.

MS TUCKER: The Attorney says you have to have intent. This says you commit an armed robbery if you have, amongst other things, an offensive weapon. What is an offensive weapon? It is anything capable. There is no link-

Mr Stefaniak: And the intent to use it.

MS TUCKER: Where? You have changed the definition of an offensive weapon so it does not include intent.

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