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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2010) . . Page.. 2464 ..

the greenhouse gas inquiry, that 23 per cent of our greenhouse gases are caused by buses.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, I am afraid the time for discussion has expired.

Crimes (Serious Organised Crime) Amendment Bill 2010

Debate resumed from 25 February 2010, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (4.33): This bill, which the Canberra Liberals support with one amendment, introduces a range of offences to combat serious organised crime. It responds to the government’s report, Serious organised crime groups and activities, and is part of a package of legislative reform that either has been or will be put into law. The Human Rights and Discrimination Commissioner in her submission to the scrutiny of bills committee commented that the bill is a:

… reasonable and measured response to the recent community concerns regarding organised crime and “bikie gangs”.

A lot of concern has been expressed in this place about these matters. The Canberra Liberals have been quite vocal about the need to introduce laws, particularly because the ACT sits in an island in the middle of New South Wales. Without appropriate laws, the ACT potentially will become something of a criminal haven for organised crime groups in New South Wales. Even further, the Canberra Liberals pushed quite hard for laws similar to those in other jurisdictions, particularly New South Wales, to be introduced into the ACT. The Labor government has responded, and this is to be commended.

In quoting from the Human Rights and Discrimination Commissioner, I omitted two critical words from the beginning of that quote: “far more”. The commissioner, in fact, in making the comparison of the bill with the legislation in New South Wales and South Australia, commented that the bill is “a far more reasonable and measured response.”

In supporting this bill today, we acknowledge that the very skilled legislative drafters in the ACT have used quite a subtle approach and some clever language to achieve outcomes similar to those of New South Wales and South Australia. In doing so, the drafters have recognised the status of the ACT as a human rights jurisdiction. As such, like it or not, we must develop legislation which is empathetic to the Human Rights Act, because it is the legislation which stands today.

Notwithstanding comments we previously made in this place about the extent to which legislation to tackle serious organised crime should go—that is, to emulate the New South Wales and South Australian legislation—it is pleasing to see that the legislation we are considering today does exactly that, but in a more legally sustainable way.

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