Page 2428 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 29 June 2005

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share with you what we are going to do in this regard.” He talks about a 25 to 30 per cent greater penalty. That is a scandal. The life of a child who is wanted by its parents is not important to Jon Stanhope. The people who lose their children through acts of recklessness, through acts of violence like the act of violence inflicted by Phillip Nathan King, are not worthy of support by this government. That is what he is saying. These people are lesser people and therefore their offences will be treated in a lesser way.

What Phillip Nathan King did was deliberately set out to kill the child that his girlfriend was bearing. That is a premeditated crime and he was not punished for it. Jon Stanhope’s approach—

Mr Stanhope: Not punished?

MRS DUNNE: He was not punished for that. He was punished for beating up his girlfriend. Jon Stanhope’s approach will be just like that. If a person does this in the ACT, after Mr Stanhope gets around to doing what he’s been gunna do for ages, if somebody does that in the ACT, they will be prosecuted for the injuries to the girlfriend, with a bit on top. But we will not be able to consider the fact that that person may have premeditatedly gone around and stomped on that woman’s belly to kill the child. It does not matter. You can feel comfortable because you might get a 25 to 30 per cent increase in the penalty, but that will not solve the problem; it will not do away with the crime; it will not be a deterrent; and it will not be of satisfaction to the people seeking justice as a result of that crime.

MR QUINLAN (Molonglo—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Business, Minister for Tourism, Minister for Sport and Recreation, and Minister for Racing and Gaming) (11.53): I have to record that I occasionally feel a certain level of fear at the unbridled nastiness of Mrs Dunne towards Mr Stanhope. It is unique.

To the question at hand, let me say: I have a son who will turn 40 on Saturday. He and his wife have been married for a very long time. They are expecting a child in November, after more than a decade of having given up hope. If something happened by deliberate act to that unborn child, I could not be responsible for what would happen—what I would do, let alone what my son might do. But I find myself in this debate in about the same camp as John Hargreaves and Deb Foskey in as much as we certainly recognise the points made and the sentiment behind the bill that is being put forward. I certainly do have that concern.

Mrs Dunne just gave a speech that went for about 12 or 13 minutes. It was about one case—and that was all—and the fact that she did not like Jon Stanhope a lot. But what concerns me about the broad sweep of this bill—and I think what concerns John and Dr Foskey—is all the other cases, the hypothetical cases, that are not being put forward and that would also be caught up in this bill. The unintended consequences that Dr Foskey mentioned must lead us logically to the conclusion that we recognise that we all have concern. All the people in this Assembly, I am absolutely certain, share the same concern but just do not share the selection of the solution.

Those cases not being mentioned and not being milked in support of the bill concern me as well. We have recognition of a problem, but I do not think we have got the right solution in front of us. The Chief Minister has stood and said this government recognizes

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