Page 1696 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 May 2013

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I do not take lightly the decision to introduce a fifth judge to our system. It is a financial burden for the ACT, and any decision to spend taxpayers’ money must be carefully considered. However, I am in no doubt that the financial and non-financial costs on Canberrans that are currently incurred because of the delays in justice outcomes are significantly higher than the cost of providing an additional judge.

The ACT Law Society recently expressed its support in a letter to me, the Attorney-General and Mr Rattenbury. The ACT Bar Association have stated that they are in strong support of this legislation, which they state will “undoubtedly alleviate the pressures and delays currently experienced by the court”.

In this morning’s Canberra Times, in an article titled “Murder victim’s family backs fifth judge”, we heard more from victims of crime affected by long delays. They stated that the delays in the resolution of their court cases were a constant aggravation of their grief and horror. Ms Williams, whose closest friend, Julie Tattersall, was tragically murdered five years ago, is quoted in the article about Mr Corbell’s views on this bill. She says:

My first thought—and it’s a terrible, terrible thing to say—was if he could wear my shoes for a day, and it was somebody in his family … he would have as many judges as it would take to clear up the system.

This bill has the support of the people who work within the system every day. It has the support of the victims of crime affected by the system. And it has the support of people trying to resolve disputes through the system. I commend this bill to the Assembly.

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


MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo) (11.29): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes

(a) that education funding reforms proposed by the Gonski Committee were the subject of discussions at a COAG meeting in Canberra on 19 April 2013;

(b) that at that meeting no jurisdiction, including the ACT, was prepared to agree to the multi-billion dollar joint funding agreement and since then only one State has signed up;

(c) the Prime Minister has given States and Territories until 30 June 2013 to agree to the reforms; and

(2) calls on the Chief Minister to:

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