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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 5 Hansard (1 May) . . Page.. 1282 ..

MR SPEAKER: The member's time has expired.

MR STANHOPE: I seek a very short extension, having been upbraided by one of my colleagues about extensions of time. (Extension of time granted.) I want to make the point that it is a difficulty, but in arriving at my position on this particular legislation I did have regard to the nature and make-up of the immediate advice of the Law Reform Commission before it came to its position, its recommendation, in relation to provisions of this sort.

As I said, the consultative committee relied on by the Law Reform Commission had a range of members whose seniority, experience and reputations I hold in some esteem. It was relevant to the position I arrived at. So it is quite disquieting, having come to a conclusion on the basis of a view being expressed by Justice Ken Crispin, Ron Cahill, Richard Refshauge, Grant Brady, John Seymour, David Hambly, Chris Staniforth, Ben Salmon, Commander Alan Castles and James Ryan, Director of Corrective Services, to see after the event one of the members of the committee, through a later emanation, expressing perhaps some other concerns.

On the basis of that, I have sought to outline some of the concerns that we have in relation to this legislation. We will monitor the legislation closely. We all agree that the level of property crime in the ACT that is simply unacceptable. The highest burglary and car theft rates in Australia are unacceptable. The people of the ACT expect a response. This response is a signal from this legislature to the judiciary that, in circumstances where a person charged with a serious offence has been granted bail and is subsequently charged with another offence, different criteria could and should apply.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services) (11.46): This is fundamentally an issue of civil liberties and, as such, it is one of the issues on which I regularly separate myself from cabinet.

I went through the same sorts of considerations as those Mr Stanhope is talking about and those most eloquently stated in the scrutiny of bills committee report. The committee looked at the right of liberty and the presumption of innocence as part of its role in looking at undue trespass on rights and liberties. There is in these circumstances no doubt some trespass on civil liberties. The question is: is it undue?

Mr Stanhope and Mr Stefaniak identified the current situation with burglaries in particular, and the current situation with regard to people who have already been charged and who we know are being charged a second and a third time for the same sorts of offences whilst they are effectively before the courts.

Part of the question as to whether or not we have an undue trespass on liberty is the impact on the rest of the community. It is clear is there has been a significant impact on the rest of the community from the legislation as it currently sits. Mr Stefaniak has attempted to say that we need to change the way we approach this; that we need to have the onus of proof going in the opposite direction; that we have to give a signal to the judiciary to say that where it appears that somebody is likely to continue committing a crime that person is going to have to prove to the court that they ought to get bail,

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