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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 4300 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

for Mr Pratt to stand up in here now and pretend that any child who wants cigarettes cannot get them shows the extent to which he is divorced from the life of Canberrans. It is a nonsense.

The point I make is serious: to come in here and suggest that banning spray cans will have any impact on the amount of graffiti or the use of spray cans is just wishful thinking. It is not based on evidence. In fact, the Australian Institute of Criminology, in a significant paper-I think the most significant paper delivered on the implications of banning spray paint cans-suggests the contrary. The Australian Institute of Criminology thinks that the banning of the sale of spray can paint to children will have the reverse effect to that sought by those that would ban it, by the banners. In fact, it will encourage the purchase and the use of paint as an act of rebellion, if one might regard it as such.

That significant paper was done by Geason and Wilson in 1990, was entitled "Preventing graffiti and vandalism", and was part of the crime prevention series produced by the Australian Institute of Criminology. I know that Mr Stefaniak, as the shadow Attorney-General and somebody who understands the work of the Institute of Criminology, would accept that the Institute of Criminology is the pre-eminent criminal justice research organisation in Australia. This pre-eminent criminal justice organisation, in the most significant paper published by it on this subject, namely "Preventing graffiti and vandalism", recommends not banning the sale of spray can paint to children under the age of 18.

There is the evidence. There is the research that has been done. The Institute of Criminology says, "Do not do this because it will not work. You will probably exacerbate the situation. It will probably lead to an increase in graffiti. You will probably end up with a result that your legislation was designed to avoid."This is bad law, it is bad legislation, it ignores the underlying causes of antisocial behaviour in our children and, according to the Australian Institute of Criminology, not only will it not work, it will make the situation worse. There is the evidence. There is the research.

Of course, this legislation is very easy and cheap politics. It is good populist law and order, the redneck, lock-'em-up, fine 'em, send 'em away stuff that the Liberals are into. It is easy. It means you do not have to address the hard social issues, you do not have to do the hard yards and you do not have to do the hard work.

Mr Stefaniak: You are not doing that.

MR STANHOPE: Yes, we are. We are doing the hard work on addressing disadvantage. You are not. You are taking the easy way out and, really, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

MS TUCKER (11.52): The Greens will also not be supporting this bill. This approach will not deal with the problem of graffiti vandalism. In fact, as Mr Stanhope has just argued, it will arguably increase the problem as it will further marginalise the young people involved.

I think it would be interesting for the Assembly to hear about how another region has dealt with the issue of graffiti vandalism. I am assuming that Mr Cornwell did some research before he put up this bill, but I did not hear him refer in his tabling speech to

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