Page 2773 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 29 June 2011

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Mr Speaker, this objects clause is only transitory in nature because it will fall out of the legislation if this bill is passed into law. It will not end up in the Crimes Act, but I have included it in this bill and a discussion of it in the explanatory statement because it sets out the parameters for these amendments and its elements are very important in providing further guidance to our courts.

Finally, Mr Speaker, I want the Assembly to note that this bill represents the first tranche of a larger body of work I am currently undertaking to review the maximum penalties for a range of offences. When I have concluded that work and had some further discussions, I aim to bring a bill forward to the Legislative Assembly in August. Bringing this bill forward today in no way diminishes the importance of the amendments I will bring forward in August. They are just as important because they relate to serious criminal offences and they point to a need, finally, to have a set of offence penalties that our courts can work with more effectively.

The bill, and the one I will bring forward in August, will give our courts more certainty. They will give our community more certainty. They will send a message to would-be criminals that the system in the ACT will no longer be lenient when compared to other jurisdictions.

This bill does what this government should have done years ago. It gives the ACT a good backstop while SCAG swims through the mire of jurisdictional jealousies. It does what the government itself says it wants to do. Therefore, I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Corbell) adjourned to the next sitting.

Standing and temporary orders—suspension

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.19): I move:

That so much of the standing and temporary orders be suspended as would prevent order of the day No 1, Private Members’ business—Electoral (Donation Limit) Amendment Bill 2011 and order of the day No 2, Private Members’ business—Electricity Feed-in (Renewable Energy Premium) Amendment Bill 2011 being determined this sitting.

This is a procedural matter. Standing orders require that as a general rule bills cannot be dealt with in the same sitting period that they were introduced. In the case of both of these bills, there is—I hate to use the word “urgency” because “urgency” has a different meaning in the standing orders—some imperative to have these matters dealt with to provide certainty. I understand it is the general wish of the Assembly that in these circumstances standing orders be suspended for both these bills. I commend the motion to the Assembly.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.20): The government will not be supporting this motion today. I would like to outline our reasons for that and our concerns with the proposal.

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