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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 4735 ..

MR PRATT (continuing):

Ms Dundas's comment that this is a "punishment, punishment, punishment"regime-

Ms Dundas: Only "punish, punish".

MR PRATT: Perhaps it was only two-ignores the fact that all successful societies and civilisations have, and continue to function with, a broad range of complementary strategies: reform, rehabilitation, diversionary programs and social justice and sentencing strategies. Sentencing strategies are key strategies in society's arsenal for taking on crime.

To seek to write out sentencing policy because the Democrats and the Chief Minister do not like sentencing policies is somewhat naive. Society can rehabilitate, society can be compassionate and society can also be firm in laying down markers for criminal behaviour. Society has to do that. Our police force will not thank society if society demands that it do the impossible.

The Chief Minister talks about the dark ages. This is outrageous. These are the rantings of a Chief Minister who is so wrapped up in his own unrealistic, emotional social justice regime that he has destroyed, at least in his own mind, the need for meaningful, legitimate sentencing-the sort of legitimate sentencing that might ensure against offenders continuing to go through the revolving door with impunity.

For example, in the territory we have serial, violent bag-snatchers-people who pray on the elderly and snatch their handbags-but they do not get taken out of society to get what they deserve. This seems to be the Chief Minister's thinking. This mob across the chamber are clearly too soft on crime. As for Ms Tucker, she is so defensive about her soft-on-crime regime, sniping away at other people in this place without provocation, that she betrays her insecurity about her law-and-order policy regime.

With her irresponsible, extremist views on how we should tackle crime, what have the police got to look to? What protection do our police get from crossbenchers with irresponsible policies on law and order? I commend the bill, and I hope that this place will see sense and bring some commonsense back into our law and order policy.

MR CORNWELL (8.33): I was struck by something that Mr Stefaniak said in his opening speech: 72 of the 75 submissions that he received supported a tougher sentencing approach. It then occurred to me that the people of this chamber who stand up and talk about restorative justice, and all this sort of nonsense, are so far isolated from criminal activity as to be a joke.

The chardonnay socialists and their fellow travellers are far removed from criminal activity. Prattling about addressing the causes of criminal behaviour, they conveniently overlook the fact that they do nothing to help the victims of ongoing crime. Isn't it wonderful to sit down and make an academic decision on this matter? You may leave, Ms Dundas. I am addressing it to you.

Ms Dundas: Because you have no idea about-

MR CORNWELL: I am addressing it to you and Ms Tucker and the rest of the fellow travellers. But never mind. Most of the people who make these comments have a great

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