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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 3 Hansard (5 March) . . Page.. 546 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

There are some real and significant problems in having slightly different laws for different jurisdictions. With something as important as criminal law, I think it is very desirable to have a nationally consistent approach to, for example, principles, but also to things such as offences. This is something that can only simplify the process, and make the law more user friendly and a lot more relevant to everyone, not only in the ACT, but also in the country.

However, I do stress that it is a fairly slow and laborious process. I can understand the government's need to delay the commencement of the code. It has been discussed for years, but it has now commenced. Now we are seeing some legislation, and I certainly look forward to further legislation and consistency between the states, which is the ultimate aim.

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for Women) (10.41), in reply: I thank members for their support for this bill. As the shadow Attorney has just indicated, this bill is fairly simple in its operation. It is designed to delay the commencement of the criminal code for a few months, to allow us to take the additional necessary steps in relation to codifying some principles of criminal responsibility that to date have not been considered.

I touched on those issues when I presented the bill, and I thank members for their support, and look forward to continuing to work with the Assembly on the criminal code. This is a very significant piece of legislation, as the shadow Attorney has just indicated, something on which all jurisdictions around Australia have been cooperating for a significant number of years. It is something that has been long in the genesis, but we are getting there now, and I am sure Mr Stefaniak will still be around when it is fully implemented.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 10.43 am to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Education spending

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, my question is directed to the minister for education, Mr Corbell. Minister, in the last sitting, you said, in respect of the $27 million extra to be provided to schools, that this money would be provided:

... over a time frame that gives the greatest benefit as promptly as possible. One or two years is an option; equally, over a four-year period is an option. All these things will be considered in the context of the current budget.

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