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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (27 November) . . Page.. 4901 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

inoffensive; I might get some advice from Parliamentary Counsel on this one-that states:

The general offence of manslaughter in s 15 applies to everyone, including workers.

Now, "everyone"is everyone. I would assume that would mean bosses, senior managers, anyone else-and, of course, specifically workers. If section 15 applies to everyone, including workers, why don't we just stick with section 15, which is going to be part of, I think, stage 4 of the Criminal Code next year? This picks up a point that Ms Gallagher raised in relation to what we already have in 2.5 of the code of 2002. Why on earth are we going down this path? Why couldn't you wait probably another six months for effectively the same result without causing us to now have two offences of manslaughter? It is an absolute nonsense; it is really a bastardisation of the law; it is appalling legal practice.

This just brings home the fact that we have two offences of manslaughter. Both of them seem to apply to bosses and to senior officers; one of them applies to workers and everyone else, including bosses and senior officers again. This just shows what an absolute nonsense this is. However, there probably will not be a huge amount of difference either way.

Obviously this provision is going to pass. But I just point out to you people the fact that this just shows the idiocy of what you have done, because you have now referred everything back to the old offence of manslaughter under section 15 that has served us well.

Mr Hargreaves: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Mr Stefaniak just said this pointed to the idiocy that somebody has done. I think that remark should be withdrawn. That was a reflection on a member.

MR STEFANIAK: No, not a member, mate. That was a collective "you"-"you"plural.

Mr Hargreaves: Well, withdraw the remark.

MR STEFANIAK: All of you-all of you voting for this.

Mrs Cross: On the point of order: was that an imputation, Bill?

MR SPEAKER: I think it is unparliamentary to refer to the collective.

MR STEFANIAK: Stupidity or-

MR SPEAKER: Well, yes I think you should withdraw that.

MR STEFANIAK: I will withdraw "idiocy". But "stupidity", "silliness"-

MR SPEAKER: It is a point of debate.

Amendment agreed to.

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