Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 2445 ..
MR STEFANIAK (continuing):
occurring around the country. It does not go nearly as far as some other jurisdictions. I have mentioned what New South Wales is doing. This change to our law merely reverses the presumption currently in favour of bail for some serious offences to one against bail.
I mentioned the matter of Hudd earlier where an innocent woman was almost killed as a result of the laws not being robust enough in terms of protecting everyone's rights regarding bail. In talking with someone from the Canberra Times, they recalled a case of someone in Canberra being murdered as a result of someone being out on bail when they shouldn't have been. I can't remember the particular case. I was told it was 10 years ago.
We have seen recently in Sydney several cases of persons who were granted bail. I think the most recent one was for murder. He then went out and murdered someone else. The public has a right to be concerned about this. The public is concerned about this.
What the Law Reform Commission has recommended is eminently sensible, and I would urge members to support this bill. I think it is important that we pass this as soon as possible. I would hope to see us do that in the August sitting.
The other changes recommended by the Attorney in his paper, which no doubt will be brought in, can be looked at then. But this is the most important of all. These provisions actually do have the very real and likely potential to save lives and certainly save a lot of angst, a lot of physical and mental injury in the community that will occur and will continue to occur if this Assembly does not take steps to protect the legitimate rights of the community and bring back a certain balance in relation to our bail laws which date back to 1992 and which, quite rightly, the Law Reform Commission criticises in a number of aspects.
I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Stanhope) adjourned to the next sitting.
Leave of absence
Motion (by Mr Hargreaves) agreed to:
That leave of absence for today, Wednesday, 25 June 2003 be given to Mr Wood (Minister for Urban Services).
Gaming Machine (Appropriate Premises) Amendment Bill 2003
Debate resumed from 18 June 2003, on motion by Ms Tucker:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.