Page 3724 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 24 August 2011

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doubling the penalties for culpable driving will reduce the number of driving offences in the ACT? Will it have a deterrent effect? We do not know. We remain open to receiving that evidence and that is why we do not oppose the bill and that is why we are open to adjourning it, because we think that there is still room for discussion there to see the evidence put on the table.

I do want to flag that I share Mrs Dunne’s concern about the way the government sometimes approaches private members’ business, which can be a bit of an attitude. It says, “It is our way or the highway. If it is not a government bill, then we are not prepared to do it.” That is certainly a frustration that my colleagues and I have had at times about things being brought on. Ms Le Couteur has sought to bring on issues on solar hot water on roof tops. Ms Bresnan looked at the issue of controls on solariums at times. We brought those bills on and the government sat there and said, “We are doing it. We will get to it. We will get to it later.” I do not think that is a satisfactory outcome. So I want to flag that we certainly do not want to see Mrs Dunne’s bill go that way.

But we have a different set of issues to what the government does. With both bills on the table, I think there is also a space here for Mrs Dunne and Mr Corbell to potentially work together on their bills, which are quite similar in many regards, and perhaps sort through some of those similarities, iron out some of the differences and it may even be that we do the bills cognately at a later point, although they do have differences in various ways. I would need to have a further think about whether that is definitively possible. I think our reasons for not supporting the adjournment of this bill are somewhat different to the attorney’s.

Nonetheless, we will not be supporting the suspension of standing orders and the Greens will vote for the adjournment of this bill today. We will be looking for further discussions. We would certainly be keen to see the evidence that shows that increasing penalties in this way is a deterrent—and some of these are more than doubling the penalties—and we need to be convinced that more than doubling those penalties is going to make a real difference out there on the streets and is not some populous attempt to say, “We want to look like we are going to be tough on crime because that is how we want to position ourselves 12 months out from the looming ACT election.”

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella) (11.04): Madam Deputy Speaker—

Mr Seselja: Two government speakers, extraordinary.

MR HARGREAVES: A little bit of courtesy from you would be good. It would be breathtakingly surprising to us all.

Mrs Dunne: Pot, kettle, black.



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