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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (7 August) . . Page.. 2500 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

courts also has been positive, albeit with reference to a few loopholes which do need closing and which this bill closes.

Quite clearly, we are starting to see some benefits occurring through a combination of measures such as the targeting crime, as Operation Anchorage did so successfully, and the improving of the laws of this territory to enable the police and the courts to do the job without unreasonable legislative restraints on them. Obviously, it is ludicrous to have laws that enable people who are charged and on bail or summonsed and not on bail and who commit offences while the finalisation of charges on other offences is pending to use the courts like a revolving door. A presumption that enables people in those situations simply to go to court, get out and, as some of the police tell me, within minutes commit more and more burglaries or more and more serious crimes is an intolerable situation that the community has the right not to expect. Indeed, the community has a right to expect this legislative body to make the necessary amendments to the laws so that idiotic situations like that are stopped.

That is exactly what this bill is doing. It is simply improving on the very good start we made several months ago. I must say that I am very sad that on this bill the Labor Party has changed the very positive stand it had taken initially. It may be that some of its members have missed the point; I do not know. I commend the legislation to the Assembly. We have already seen distinct improvements in the short time the first amendment to the Bail Act has been in force. This amendment will enable further improvements to be made to overcome the anomalies which still exist and to which I have referred.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Statute Law Amendment Bill 2001

Debate resumed from 15 June 2001, on motion by Mr Stefaniak:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (4.48): Statute law amendment bills are introduced primarily to keep pace with a range of changes that occur as technology changes and society advances. Statute law amendment bills are designed to keep our statute books up to date with what is happening in the broader community. The aim of every statute law amendment bill is to ensure that the broad range of legislation on the statute books is in accord with modern drafting practice, technological changes and other changes that occur within the community. There is a convention that only minor non-controversial and non-policy matters will be included in statute law legislation.

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