Page 3467 - Week 08 - Thursday, 18 August 2011

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Although the bill retains the application of section 48A to the culpable driving offences and the offences of intentionally and recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm, there will no longer be a higher penalty available for the aggravated form of these offences. Sentencing for the aggravated offence will take place within the new range set by the basic offence. The government has made this modification because the penalties for the basic offences would be increased by this bill to a level that is also appropriate for punishing the aggravated offence.

In 2010, the New South Wales government appointed retired Supreme Court judge Michael Campbell to review New South Wales laws involving deaths of unborn children. The review confirmed that existing New South Wales penalties were appropriate. As the new penalties for the basic ACT offences would be similar to those that exist in New South Wales, the government has concluded that the new maximum penalties are at an appropriate level to also punish the aggravated offence. The aggravated offence will continue to be available to be charged and proven in courts to focus judicial attention on the seriousness of malicious harm to a pregnancy.

As such, and as there have been no instances of the use of section 48A, I have come to the view that there is no justification to further increase the aggravated maximum penalties, although this will have the effect of doing away with the current 30 per cent loading on such offences.

Mr Speaker, this bill takes a careful and considered approach to amending the maximum penalties for a very select number of offences to remedy some existing deficiencies. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne) adjourned to the next sitting.

Education, Training and Youth Affairs—Standing Committee


MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.11): I seek leave to move the amended motion standing in my name on the notice paper:

Leave granted.

MRS DUNNE: Thank you, Mr Speaker, and I thank members for the leave. I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that the report entitled The ACT Youth Justice System 2011 was published by the Speaker on 29 July 2011; and

(2) refer the Human Rights Commission’s report to the Standing Committee on Education, Training and Youth Affairs for consideration and review, including but not limited to:

(a) overseeing the implementation of the recommendations in the Commission’s report;

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