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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 4157 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

which Ms Dundas actually mentioned. She did not seem very happy that the ACT had the least number of prisoners of any state or territory.

She also made comments about being happy that the government is not going into law and order auctions, as occurs interstate. I have said in the past I do not think a law and order auction is necessarily a bad thing. This bill is not about things like the number of prisoners, but if it were a fact that we had less crime than other states or territories, that we had fewer offences per head of population than other states or territories and that accounted for us having a smaller prison population, it would be a source of great pride to the territory, but it is not necessarily something to gloat about as the ACT it is right up there with the other states and territories per head of population on a number of offences.

As someone who has been involved in the court system here and interstate, I certainly think that there are a large number of victims and other members of the general public who wonder at times about excessively lenient sentences coming out of our courts. I do not think that it is a source of pride to say that we have the lowest prison population in the country, as we still have reasonably high crime rates in many instances.

I wanted to make that point. In fact, not only would I like to see us having a national criminal code, but also I think that it would be very sensible if it were followed up at some stage by a national sentencing code and several other codes so that there was consistency right across the Commonwealth.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Planning and Land Bill 2002

Detail stage

Clause 1.

Debate resumed from 21 November 2002.

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2.

MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (8.16): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 6 at page 4192], and I present the explanatory statement to the government amendments to this bill.

This is a straightforward amendment that inserts a new commencement date for the act of 1 July 2003. This will allow both the new Planning and Land Authority and the new government Land Development Agency to formally commence their operations at the beginning of the next financial year.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 2, as amended, agreed to.

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