Page 2327 - Week 06 - Friday, 27 June 2008

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as an employer is critical to achieving high levels of workplace safety in the ACT. Taking a throw-the-book-at-you adversarial approach to occupational health and safety is not necessarily a way to bring everyone along in a cooperative manner.

This indeed is a positive initiative, although, as I said earlier in the industrial relations segment of the debate, the fact that we have about two or three additional OH&S inspectors is really a drop in the bucket. It is not, in itself, going to do a huge amount, because they are stretched. And we still see accidents happen in workplaces in the ACT which are caused simply because the office cannot take a proactive approach; it has a fundamental, reactive approach.

While I am being complimentary to people, I especially mention the Office of Parliamentary Counsel. The people in that office provide nothing less than an extraordinary service to members of this place and, through it, the people of Canberra. And their flexible, impartial and often innovative approach to legislative drafting is highly professional, efficient and greatly valued, I am sure, by every member of this Assembly. I would congratulate them on their dedicated service.

There are a couple of brickbats here as well. This issue was first raised, I think, when I was Attorney-General briefly. It was quite valid. I agreed with the then shadow, Mr Stanhope, that the information system in the courts was not marvellous. We were taking steps to address that. Fast forward several years down the track and Mr Stanhope is attorney, and he said it still certainly was not up to the standards he actually wanted either. It is still the case now.

I would defy you to go and get me information on every person who was remanded in custody in the Magistrates Court and then appealed to the Supreme Court. I would like to see the figures on how many had their appeals upheld and were let out and how many did not have their appeals upheld. Anecdotally, talking with magistrates and others, virtually everyone probably did. But having sat in the court a couple of times and seen the applications, there is no way you can actually find that by way of stats.

Similarly, on the number of appeals from the Magistrates Court and what happens to them in the Supreme Court, the overall manner of things, again there are no stats on that. Maybe the Supreme Court stats are embarrassing because, anecdotally again from magistrates and others, I hear that most of those appeals are upheld, for whatever reason.

If you go to the New South Wales system, you can get all that information. And you can get it right down to the various types of offences in the Magistrates Court, the age of the person, whether there are prior convictions, the magnitude of any particular offence and the degrees of that offence. It is incredible the information they have at their fingertips—the DPP, the police, Legal Aid, the judges, the magistrates, other quasi judicial officers—through the New South Wales Judicial Commission. That is an idea in itself which I would commend to the attorney. I recently did a quick study of that and I will give you a paper shortly in relation to that, Mr Speaker.

What impressed me were their data and their ability to have all that data at their finger tips. It helps the courts in their various functions, be they Supreme, District or

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