Page 80 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 9 February 2010

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Continued improvement to the ACT workers compensation scheme is a high priority. The ACT is the second largest privately underwritten scheme in the country, but the scheme is not performing well when measured against a number of important criteria. It is also one of the more expensive in Australia. The Workers Compensation Amendment Bill will propose amendments foreshadowed in the Assembly in 2009 that build upon the earlier successful 2002 reform. When combined with further planned improvements, it will deliver an affordable scheme for employers, improve the outcome for workers, improve performance of scheme providers and provide an effective governance and management regime for the scheme.

Mr Acting Speaker, what is your title?

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): Mr Assistant Speaker.

MR STANHOPE: Sorry, Mr Assistant Speaker.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: That is okay. No offence taken at all. I have got a thick hide, Chief Minister.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Assistant Speaker. A suite of legislation is presented to fight crime and to protect and support the community. The government report to the Assembly, Serious organised crime groups and activities, which was tabled last year, foreshadowed a number of legislative amendments to strengthen the territory’s ability to combat serious organised crime. The Crimes (Serious Organised Crime) Amendment Bill will create offences for affray, participation in criminal groups and recruitment for the purposes of criminal activity. Concepts to be covered include joint criminal enterprise, being knowingly concerned in a criminal enterprise and will extend the offence of intimidation of witnesses in criminal investigations.

These amendments form phase 1 of the government’s legislative response to the issue of serious organised crime highlighted in the report. Phase 2 of the government’s response will involve the introduction of unexplained wealth provisions to allow for a process of civil forfeiture of assets where a person’s total wealth exceeds their lawfully acquired wealth.

The government will also introduce the Crimes (Surveillance Devices) Bill 2010 as part of its continuing commitment to providing ACT Policing with the modern tools to detect and dismantle organised crime by providing a legal framework for the use of surveillance devices. The bill provides for a local and cross-border scheme for the issue and accountability of warrants relating to the use of a range of surveillance devices in the investigation of criminal offences. The bill will also make provision for the mutual recognition of these warrants when investigations cross into other jurisdictions.

The Criminal Code (Offences Against the Person) Bill is also to be introduced, which will codify fatal and non-fatal criminal offences as well as sexual assault offences. These offences will be based upon the model legislation proposed by the Model Criminal Code Officers Committee of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General.

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