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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 1 April 2008) . . Page.. 729 ..

So I commend the amendment, but I am concerned about those amendments that are yet waiting to be made to ensure that all the concerns of the commissioner and other young people, advocacy groups, are taken into account. That is where, I guess, the 12-month review will be very useful.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (12.09): If Dr Foskey believes it is an over-reaction, she just does not have to vote for the bill. If she feels so strongly about her assertion that she made—that all this legislation is an over-reaction—she does not have to vote for the bill. But I note that she is going to vote for the bill, so presumably she believes it is a reasonable response.

This amendment makes it clear that there is discretion for the purposes of the registrar, and therefore the court, making a decision as to whether or not a term of imprisonment, or commitment as it is described in the act, is appropriate. At the moment that discretion does not exist. If it is clear to the court that the person cannot pay the fine in any other way, they must be committed; they must serve a term of, effectively, imprisonment. But there may be a whole range of circumstances where that is just not appropriate when you are dealing with a minor. There may be circumstances where the person, for reasons quite beyond their control, is not able to pay such a fine, and in those circumstances I believe it is appropriate for the court to have discretion.

I would add, of course, that I believe these circumstances will be extremely rare and that in practice there is a sufficient level of discretion already granted to the court in, for example, making sure that people can repay in instalments at a very low level. So in practice I do not believe that this is a significant problem at all; but I do want to stress that I believe it is important to underscore that, in any event, in the very rare circumstances where this may become an issue, there is still discretion available, and that is the purpose of the amendment.

Proposed new clause 4A agreed to.

Clauses 5 to 17, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Proposed new clause 18 and proposed new schedule 1 taken together.

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (12.11): I seek leave to move my amendments Nos 1 and 2 circulated in my name together.

Leave granted.

MR STEFANIAK: I move amendments 1 and 2 circulated in my name together [see schedule 3 at page 808].

As flagged in the in-principle debate, these two amendments go to the guts of what Mr Corbell’s bill is all about, or at least should be all about. I did listen, with interest, and am well aware—as are the police—of the case he cited in relation to what is

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