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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 4305 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

skills, to encourage them to become involved in developing their skills for the graffiti pieces, and then we will see a reduction in the vandalism.

If you are going to try to ban access to aerosol paints, all you are going to do is make some young people, particularly, more angry and that it is a reasonable response. I think that we have opportunities in this place to take a much more intelligent, thoughtful and, dare I say, compassionate approach to young people in our community. I think Mr Cornwell's tabling speech was appalling. (Extension of time granted.)

I also have to mention briefly how poorly constructed his bill is. Mr Stanhope was very articulate on the comments from the scrutiny of bills committee, so I will not take up members' time by repeating that information, but it does have to be noted as another reason for not supporting this legislation.

MR STEFANIAK (12.07): It never fails to amaze me how this government can seize on something like a new tax initiative from New South Wales, which of course we should have in the ACT, and the need for parity between the ACT and New South Wales when it suits them and yet, in anything remotely to do with law and order issues, it says, "No, we cannot possibly do that. Good old Bob Carr is too red-necked there. We have to look at things such as root causes and there is no way in the world we should be in concert with New South Wales."

What absolute nonsense! I think that, if there are good initiatives coming out of New South Wales in any area, it is very sensible for us to follow them, especially because the ACT is an island within the state of New South Wales. It never fails to amaze and sadden me that, when it comes to an issue such as this, we have the same knee-jerk reaction from the Chief Minister, calling the opposition rednecks and saying that we are populist and into law and order. I suppose we are into law and order; I make no bones about the fact that the community has a right to be protected, that all of us are here with a duty and a responsibility to protect the community.

While this is just one small issue, it is an issue that is very annoying to the community. I am sure that, next week, when we debate my sentencing package, the Chief Minister will use exactly the same excuses and probably misinterpretations of the law, and distance himself from New South Wales in that regard.

In other areas, oh yes, we have to follow New South Wales. I think I counted about three or four occasions on which Mr Quinlan has said that in the last three months, in other areas. But not when it comes to matters such as this, not when it comes to anything to do with the criminal law because, at the end of the day, unfortunately for Canberra citizens, this government is soft on crime. I think that is a great shame.

There are a number of approaches you can take to graffiti, but Mr Cornwell's is an eminently sensible approach. He has taken this approach because he has seen the benefit of legislation in other states, specifically New South Wales, which has brought this in and for very good reasons. Graffiti is an Australia-wide problem and that probably extends to other countries as well. New South Wales and South Australia, the Attorney tells us, has brought in laws to ban the sale of spray cans to people under 18.

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