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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (15 February) . . Page.. 284 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

I worked fairly closely with them over a nine-year period as a prosecutor and also on two occasions as a defence counsel and invariably I found them capable of exercising discretions quite properly. You do yourselves no service at all by using silly examples like that.

I come back now to the point I am making in relation to the substantive issue. On my advice there is no need for Mr Stanhope's amendment. When you look at the whole section I think you can see quite clearly why. There are provisions there, but there are also absolute checks and balances and things a police officer has to do, and the prosecution has to prove that the police officer did them to enable the swab to be taken.

Debate interrupted.

Planning and Urban Services-Standing Committee

Motion (by Mr Hird ) agreed to, with the concurrence of an absolute majority:

That so much of standing order 229 be suspended this day as would prevent the Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Services meeting whilst the Assembly is meeting.

Justice and Community Safety Amendment Bill 2000 (No 2)

Detail stage

Debate resumed.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (5.35): Mr Speaker, I guess we often express amazement in this place but I am genuinely bemused that the government will not cop this amendment. I cannot believe that they are prepared to dig themselves into a ditch on this and for the Attorney to be embarrassed in the way he has just embarrassed himself in order to protect the Chief Minister's dignity.

The government is wrong. There is a mistake in the bill. I am sure it was accidental. I would love to see the drafting instruction which said, "Please omit the word 'serious' from section 29 of this act." You might care to table that drafting instruction, Mr Attorney. Table the drafting instruction to the OPC to remove the word "serious" from section 29. Table the drafting instruction which asks the draftsman to differentiate section 29 from sections 23 and 34, and provide us with an explanation of why the government wanted to differentiate section 29 from section 23 and section 34.

Why is it that the government wants a different formulation in section 29 than the formulation that appears in sections 23 and 34? On what basis did the government instruct the parliamentary draftsman to differentiate section 29 from sections 23 and 34? Why did the government want to not include the word "serious" in section 29 but insist that it be included in sections 23 and 34? What was the basis of that instruction to the draftsman? And what is the practical difference in the mind of the government as a result of its insistence? What is the practical difference, Attorney? Explain that here and now. What is the practical difference in the operation of section 29 as opposed to sections 23 and 34?

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