Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 17 Sept 2009) . . Page.. 4170 ..
It goes to show, not just in this case but in other cases, that it does not hurt to provide that advice in an open way so that people can see what your thinking was. It is interesting that, whilst this is a privileged document, the attorney has agreed to waive the privilege and the sky has not fallen.
There has been a lot of debate and a lot of discussion over this. I take the point that Mr Rattenbury made: we have had this government response for only two days. Minister, you cannot say, “It has been on the table for 10 months and therefore we should debate it.” The last available piece of information, the bit that makes the final piece of the puzzle, has been with us for two days. It is a complex document. I am satisfied with it. I think that we can go on with it, but there is no point sort of smacking people around and saying, “Well, we have known that this was coming up and you should toe the line.” It has been available for only two days. While the Liberal opposition is comfortable with that, I can understand some of the points made by Mr Rattenbury.
I would seek at the end of this cognate debate on this to again adjourn the debate on the committee report because there are still four recommendations outstanding and I would welcome a speedy response from the government on those things.
I note Mr Rattenbury’s comments in relation to amendments to the penalty for manslaughter. I am glad that he has not brought it forward today because, although the committee has made a specific recommendation in relation to manslaughter and a more general recommendation in relation to sentencing, it would be inappropriate for us to rush it through without further consultation with the community. The Liberal opposition have begun that process of consultation on sentencing and we will continue to do that. It would have been perhaps precipitate to bring it forward today, if not contrary to the standing orders, but this is something that on the back of the committee recommendations there would be substantial support for in the Assembly and I think it would be a welcome reform. On that note, I think that the minister in his very lengthy statement has covered all the issues, and the Liberal opposition are happy to support the bill.
Clause 1 agreed to.
Remainder of bill, by leave, taken as a whole.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (12.11): I now table the following paper:
Crimes (Murder) Amendment Bill 2008—copy of letter to the Attorney-General from Jon White, Director of Public Prosecutions, dated 8 September 2009.
Mrs Dunne, and earlier Mr Rattenbury, raised the issue of recommendation 3 of the committee, which relates to moving the maximum penalty for manslaughter offences from 26 years to 31 years for aggravated offences and from 20 years to 25 years for normal manslaughter offences. Whilst the government has not formally responded, I