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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 3891 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

before agreeing on a resolution. To strengthen the position of conciliated agreements, the bill allows for them to be filed in the tribunal registry and enforced as if they were orders of the tribunal.

I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Rehabilitation of Offenders (Interim) Amendment Bill 2002 (No 2)

Mr Quinlan , pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming and Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Corrections) (11.23): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, this bill makes changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders (Interim) Act 2002. It also amends the Remand Centres Act 1976 and makes a consequential amendment to the Crimes Act 1900.

The Rehabilitation of Offenders (Interim) Act has been operating since September 2001. Since that time stakeholders have identified a number of deficiencies and inconsistencies in the act that are hindering efficient operation of the territory's parole system and making the job of the Sentence Administration Board unnecessarily difficult.

The bill is designed to fix these problems. For example, it ensures that the Sentence Administration Board will take all reasonable steps to notify a victim who has a made a submission to the board in relation to a parole hearing of the board's decision to make, or not make, a parole order. It allows the chairman of the board to delegate any of his or her functions to a deputy chairperson so that the board can function properly if the chairman is ill, on leave or otherwise unable to perform his or her functions under the act.

Clause 15 of the bill allows the board to issue commitment warrants when a parole order is automatically revoked under the act. This is to ensure the New South Wales prison authorities have the necessary authority to continue to detain offenders whose parole orders have been automatically revoked. Clause 12 allows the board greater flexibility in releasing offenders on parole than is currently the case.

In addition, the bill contains provisions to promote greater transparency in the sentencing process. Section 31 of the Rehabilitation of Offenders (Interim) Act deals with the setting of non-parole periods. This section must be read together with section 360 of the Crimes Act 1900. That section provides that time already spent in custody for the relevant offence must be counted as time already served under a sentence of imprisonment.

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