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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3456 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

not going to thank them for dumping a whole heap of amendments on me last night. I just found that too hard but I will survive, and so will the rest of us.

I agree with the minister that we have a comprehensive piece of legislation and, I suppose, we will have to wait and see whether it stands the test of time. We will hear more about that in due course when the actuarial assessment takes place.

I would also like to thank the secretariat for the running sheets that they prepared. I just could not believe that they would be able to get around to doing that. I must say that this morning it looked as though it was going to be just a wee bit difficult to work our way through the legislation. But they made our task so much easier, as did the staff in my office, who helped throughout this consideration. They attended the round table conference and all those sorts of things, and helped keep members briefed. So thanks to everybody who has helped us in relation to this matter.

MR SPEAKER: I would have thought this was not the appropriate time to have been making those comments. Never mind, we have allowed that to happen. My only regret is-and this is not a criticism of the officers, who are still in the building-that these remarks were not made earlier than 5 to 11 tonight. It is a great pity that these things had not been sorted out a little earlier.

Bill, as amended, agreed to

Rehabilitation of Offenders (Interim) Bill 2001

Debate resumed from 21 August 2001, on motion by Mr Stefaniak:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR HARGREAVES (10.57): I would like to express my appreciation to the staff of Corrective Services who have been sitting upstairs for hours and hours waiting for this bill to come on. Mr Speaker, the Rehabilitation of Offenders (Interim) Bill 2001 is, by my judgment, the first in a suite of legislation which will, I hope, set a new standard of corrective services in Australia. We have an opportunity in the ACT, in embarking on a new prison and now on a new service of home detention, to put together best practice, to put together good policy and to implement a restorative justice philosophy.

Essentially, Mr Speaker, the Labor Party fully supports the notion of home detention. If we have had some concerns over the past few days, much to the minister's angst, it has been because we did not want to make a mistake. We believe that this is an incredibly important piece of legislation. It is our first step down this path and we naturally are concerned to get it right.

I will make a couple of observations, Mr Speaker. We saw in the budget a provision of some $300,000 odd for this program, so I assume that in calculating that we started to consider just how the program is going to work. I am assuming that much of the detail has been known to Corrective Services officers for some time.

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