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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3694 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

bring home to people the danger of their actions. I wonder why we are being so cute about that.

It seems that Mr Rugendyke's bill provides a real penalty, a deterrence. It is not something that is going to continue forever. People get their vehicles back. It brings it home to people that there is a consequence to their actions. Mr Hargreaves misses the point of deterrence. I have seen deterrence work in this place occasionally. For example, when a member is suspended by the Speaker for three hours, their attitude improves immensely. They tend to be a lot more cautious, because they realise that if they keep transgressing the result will not be something they want to see.

This bill does not take away a vehicle for a huge length of time. It is not the case that people will not get their property back. It seems to have worked. My colleague the Urban Services Minister says that now that this provision is not in operation-

Mr Hargreaves: Where is the proof?

MR STEFANIAK: I am only going by what my colleague tells me, Mr Hargreaves. He indicates that offences are on the rise again, because defendants are aware that the deterrent effect has gone. The thing that really hurts them-having their vehicle taken away-is not there. Have regard to basic nature, Mr Hargreaves. Have regard to the fact that this is not fatally difficult for people who commit these offences. It is not as if they will never get their cars back.

Mr Hargreaves: You are wasting police time. You are wasting half a day of their time.

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Hargreaves says it is wasting police time. I query that. Maybe that is not a valid consideration. The police are there, as you rightly say, to bring offenders to court. That is their job. I suppose needlessly wasting police time if it could be done better is a factor. If it needlessly wastes the time of police when they could be doing other things, I suppose that is a factor, Mr Hargreaves. If that is the case, maybe that is another reason.

I support the comments made by my colleague the Urban Services Minister. I think there is a very strong case for this legislation to be brought back. I do not think it causes any unreasonable problems for defendants. It certainly has the desired deterrent effect. I accept what my colleague says about the deterrent effect having gone out the window because this provision is lacking at this point in time.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services) (9.32): The deterrent effect has gone out the window and, boy, things have become so much worse. I cannot believe it. I can hardly sleep for the squeal of tyres. How difficult it is to hear in this chamber when outside tyres are squealing, engines are roaring and smoke is pouring out. It is such a huge problem. We have to seize people's vehicles. What's next, Fourby?

Mr Quinlan: Take their caps off because they are wearing them back to front and looking very surly.

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