Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 4329 ..
For regulation to be the most efficient solution to a problem, it must yield benefits greater than the cost it imposes. The question in this case is whether there is sufficient evidence to justify the severe regulatory action, given the impact of the regulation on the salesperson and the retailer. The government's answer to that is no.
It is also likely that the regulation will target the salesperson and the small business retailer but would have little impact on the large corporations. These organisation would have no problems accessing the defence provision provided for the employer under proposed section 384A (6) that they had no knowledge of the sale. It would be harder for the small retailer to adopt this argument. Such impositions on retailers and small businesses might be considered if there were clear evidence that these measures would be totally effective, but there is no such evidence.
I strongly support the government's stance on this measure and the measures it is taking. I do believe that we must vigorously defend our city, but the bill as proposed by Mr Cornwell simply is not an answer to the problem. It is much too heavy in any event. The government will continue to pursue a more sensible and more comprehensive approach to this important issue.
MR PRATT (3.37): I rise to support Mr Cornwell's bill. I would like to make a couple of comments on remarks made during the debate before lunch. I would point out that this legislation would not deny the use of spray cans to young people involved in VET and other training and educational activities. Ms Dundas raised that as a major issue and stated that the opposition would deny such legal use. That is rubbish. This legislation is not aimed at denying young kids involved in legally artistic activities to use spray cans or markers under supervision, so that is not an issue.
I would say to Ms Dundas that I did view the legal graffiti exercise a couple of weeks ago at the recently refurbished Belconnen Youth Centre. You were there as well, Mr Speaker. This youth centre is making a great contribution to youth affairs and management in Canberra. I marvelled at the artistic exercise on display outside and I would not, nor would the opposition, wish to impede such legal practice. The inference in her speech this morning that I and the opposition aim to deny legal graffiti and other artistic and technical training programs for the young through Mr Cornwell's legislation was fatuous nonsense. I would say ditto to Ms Tucker, who supported Ms Dundas on that. That was just misinformation.
Concern about graffiti is regularly raised with MLAs. I had a constituent advise me that on a bus trip from Woden to Tuggeranong kilometres of graffiti were noted along suburban back fences and across the back fences and barricades of shopping centres. People do not find that particularly pleasing and their artistic appreciation is not turned on by observing those types of displays. They feel a sense of anguish that our community has come to this. The impression that I am getting from listening to the debate here today is that the government looks upon that concern fairly lightly and does not take it seriously.
Mr Speaker, I will put on my shadow police and youth hats for a moment to respond to Mr Stanhope's comments this morning about the modus operandi of the opposition. Mr Stanhope, we support interventionist and diversionary social programs to target youth