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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3382 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

be an employee of the real estate agent, that that will be the person recording the details of the persons bidding in an auction.

We took the view that, in circumstances where somebody potentially subject to the directions of an agent has committed the offence, a maximum penalty of $5,000 would be a significant amount of money for an employee to have to pay. Our view is that an employee of an agent recording names, if subject to a penalty of $5,000, would take it very seriously. It would be a real penalty for an employee in those circumstances and it would be a very real and genuine disincentive for an employee not to break the law. If they knew they were subject to a penalty of $5,000, I do not think they would willingly breaking the law. We were persuaded by that in setting the penalty at 50 units.

In addition to that, a person who commits an offence by recording false details of a bidder at auction takes only the first step in a series of actions leading up to the more serious offence of dummy bidding and it is appropriate that the chain of penalties be stepped up to reflect the gravity of each offence leading up to the $10,000 penalty for the act of dummy bidding.

The argument we make in response to the amendment moved by Mrs Dunne is that in the first instance we are talking about an employee. It is a serious offence, but a more serious offence is the offence of dummy bidding. The employee does not commit the offence of dummy bidding; that occurs later down the chain. We have applied a $10,000 penalty to that more serious offence and we believe it only appropriate that there be a gradation in the penalties that should apply. The government will not support Mrs Dunne's amendment.

Amendment negatived.

Clause 26 agreed to.

Remainder of bill, by leave, taken as a whole and agreed to.

Bill agreed to.

Statute Law Amendment Bill 2003

Debate resumed from 8 May 2003, on motion by Mr Wood , on behalf of Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (3.57): Mr Speaker, this bill is largely a technical bill and most of the amendments it makes are minor or of a technical nature and are non-controversial. The bill updates the ACT statute book and the opposition will be supporting the bill. A couple of not insignificant amendments will be made by the bill.

Firstly, digital signatures will allow users to verify the authenticity and accuracy of authorised electronic files of legislation and legislative material published on the legislation register. They will enable users to ensure that what appears to be an authorised copy of legislation or legislative material is just that. The digital signature

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