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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . . Page.. 2794 ..

why he took out "a thing stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained".

MR OSBORNE (11.51): I do not think Mr Stanhope heard Mr Rugendyke then. Mr Rugendyke asked why Mr Stanhope took out subsection (1) (a) from the government's proposed section of the bill, which says "a thing stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained". I think that would fit quite reasonably with his amendment, perhaps as a (d). I am prepared to move an amendment to add "a thing stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained". But there may be a reason why Mr Stanhope has taken it out.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services) (11.53): I seek leave to speak again, Mr Speaker.

Leave granted.

MR MOORE: I move the amendment circulated in my name [see schedule 7 at page 2884].

My interpretation of it, which may be different from yours, Mr Stanhope, is that you were lifting it to an indictable offence level. Therefore, it was not able to use these really quite draconian powers, which are appropriate in the right circumstances, for something very minor. "A thing stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained" can be something very small. But if it is likely to be suspected in the test of being used with regard to an indictable offence, it is appropriate for the police to use stop and detain and conduct a frisk search-that level of power. It would be interesting to see if Mr Stanhope saw it that way when he originally put it.

By using "suspects, on reasonable grounds" we have, on the one hand, lowered the test for police. On the other hand, we are talking about rather significant powers, and that is why I would be reluctant to see (a) included in this one.

My first reaction was neither to throw this out completely nor just stay with the original law. Mr Stanhope has proposed that we recognise what Mr Stefaniak was trying to achieve but to do it not quite to the same standard. That is what I think this amendment achieves.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (11.54): Mr Moore is right.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General) (11.54): If this is approved, it will be only marginally better than the current situation. A lot of items are goods reasonably suspected of having been stolen, and that is covered by subsection (1) (a) which Mr Osborne rightly reads out: "a thing stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained". It would be unreasonably restrictive and would largely defeat the purpose if that were not included.

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