Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 2 Hansard (19 February) . . Page.. 368 ..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
In 1999 the Australian Law Reform Commission released its report on the Commonwealth's Proceeds of Crime Act 1987. As the territory's proceeds of crime legislation is based on the Commonwealth's act, many of the recommendations in the report are relevant to the territory.
The government will implement the majority of the Australian Law Reform Commission's recommendations through the Confiscation (Unlawful Proceeds) Bill 2002. Importantly, the bill adopts the commission's recommendation to establish a civil forfeiture scheme, which will enable the Director of Public Prosecutions to apply for an order to confiscate criminal assets from a person who has not been convicted of an offence. The court may make such an order if it is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the assets concerned were derived from serious criminal activity.
To maintain the integrity of the national demerit points scheme, technical amendments will be proposed to the demerit points provision in the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Act 1999 and the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Regulations 2000. Amendments are also proposed to the road transport legislation to reduce identity fraud by allowing images of licensed drivers to be retained on the Road Transport Authority database. The amendments will also minimise the registration of "rebirthed" stolen vehicles.
While community safety is important, so is the consideration of civil liberties. The government proposes to introduce a package of amendments dealing with police powers. The government is concerned that a number of the amendments dealing with police powers passed under the previous government unduly infringe the civil liberties of territorians. While recognising that police must be given adequate powers with which to do their job, these powers must be balanced with the rights of territorians to go about their lawful business free of unwarranted interference. The government believes that these amendments will strike an appropriate balance between those two factors.
Finally, the technical amendments program will seek to tidy up minor inconsistencies in ACT laws and provide an avenue for minor and technical revisions.
These are but a few of the initiatives proposed in the Autumn 2002 Legislation Program. As I mentioned earlier, the program is an indication of the legislative items that the government considers are important. I seek the cooperation of all members in the timely consideration of these bills, and I commend the Autumn 2002 Legislation Program to the Assembly.
That the report be noted.
MR HUMPHRIES (Leader of the Opposition) (4.10): Mr Deputy Speaker, as one would expect in these circumstances, much of what is on this program is legislation that would have come forward no matter which government was elected to power last October. There are many things that I can recall seeing pushed up by departments and that were probably on earlier government legislation programs in previous periods. Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.