Page 4656 - Week 14 - Thursday, 24 November 2005

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claimed by a person is, say, only $20,000, most of your money has gone, through the requirements of the act.

This simplified procedure enables a brief newspaper advertisement to be put in, similar to what is put in for a grant of probate and which would probably cost several hundred dollars instead of thousands, saying where further information can be found. For example, it could direct you to a website where you will be able to get more information. So that is using technology sensibly but also saving the recipient of that money, who might come to claim it, the possibility of losing more than half of what they are entitled to simply because of a formal requirement that is unnecessary.

So basically the opposition will be supporting this bill. I do wonder, however, certainly in relation to restorative justice, why that was not done at the start. But the improvements that this bill makes are sensible and are supported by the opposition. I wonder how many more improvements we will be making. This is bill No 14. I know it was a process started by the previous government, but, hopefully, we will see less and less of these bills, because a lot of the anomalies that these bills are meant to pick up surely should have been picked up by now. We will, hopefully, see fewer and fewer anomalies picked up, which would be good for everyone.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (5.46): I am really pleased that it looks like we might be going to pass one of the pieces of legislation on our agenda today, and this one looks relatively simple. I support the Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2005 (No 3) as it presents a number of minor and technical amendments, none of which warrant concern or appear unfair.

The most important changes being made through this legislation, from our point of view, are those to the Consumer Credit Act, the Crimes (Child Sex Offenders) Act, the Residential Tenancies Act and the Unclaimed Moneys Act. The changes to the Consumer Credit Act and regulations will ensure that hidden fees and charges do not enable credit providers to charge their customers extortionate amounts and that short-term credit providers do not evade the act’s requirements. Given the problem with consumer debt, anything that helps to restrict that is very welcome.

The expansions of the sex offenders register will allow the inclusion of people offending against the commonwealth crimes of trafficking of children, using, possessing and producing child pornography materials through a carriage service and using a carriage service to procure or groom children under 16 years of age. These are serious crimes and the Greens are very glad to see them included here.

The ACT Greens supported the establishment of a child sex offenders register in the ACT as part of the development of the national child offender register. However, we still believe that the register proposed by the government is a bare-bones approach. We would prefer to see the ACT be more proactive to ensure that child sex abuse does not occur.

I called on the government, when the Crimes (Child Sex Offenders) Bill was passed, to take on board three recommendations for improving and expanding the operation of the sex offenders register. I remind the Assembly that these were the development of a framework to prevent sexual crime in the ACT, which includes community education,

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