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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 5220 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Secondly, the codified offences in the bill will make it unnecessary to retain a large number of similar offences in various other acts and regulations throughout the ACT statute book. Accordingly, schedule 2 repeals a large number of offences that will no longer be necessary because the conduct they cover will be covered by the new codified offences in the bill. This is an important feature of the bill not only because it will simplify and reduce the size of the statute book by eliminating unnecessary duplication, but because it will also advance the primary objective of the Criminal Code, which is to standardise and centralise offences so that they are more easily understood and accessible.

Before concluding, I acknowledge this as a very significant and major piece of law reform. It is not a piece of law reform that has necessarily grabbed the imagination of the community but it is a very significant and a very major piece of law reform being pursued by the ACT department of justice. It involves very considerable, detailed, rigorous and stringent analysis by departmental officers, and a very high level of professionalism and dedication by those officers within the Office of Parliamentary Counsel who have undertaken the drafting of this major piece of work. I commend the department of justice and its officers and the officers of the Office of Parliamentary Counsel for the work that has been undertaken in relation to the inclusion in the law of the ACT the model criminal code.

It is a major piece of law reform. It will stand the test of time as a very significant and major undertaking by the ACT government through the department of justice and through the Office of Parliamentary Counsel. I commend the officers for the work that they have dedicated to this task. It is one of those pieces of law reform that may not have grabbed the public imagination and perhaps never will, but it will endure for a century as a major and significant piece of criminal law reform.

In Australia, the ACT is taking a lead role in the implementation of the Criminal Code into our law, and that is good. It is good that we are continuing to work our way through each of the chapters of the Criminal Code. This is a long-term task that will take some more years yet, but ultimately it will stand the ACT in very good stead as a jurisdiction with the most modern, up-to-date and comprehensible criminal law of any jurisdiction in Australia. So, I commend the bill to the house and I congratulate all those officers involved with this major law reform task.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Litter Bill 2003

Mr Wood, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by clerk.

MR WOOD (Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, and Minister for Arts and Heritage) (11.16): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

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