Page 2774 - Week 09 - Thursday, 8 August 2013

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I have received indication from the Attorney-General that he is agreeable to this approach and I thank him for that feedback. I think it ensures that in respect of any increases—they may well be warranted; I do not dispute that point—which may put people in a particularly difficult situation, the flexibility is there to pay.

I recall that we discussed this previously. It is, I think, a good approach because rather than have somebody simply default on a fine and possibly end up in jail, there is the opportunity to do things like put in place a payment plan. I think this is a better outcome for the community on a range of measures, including the fact that the government will ultimately get more revenue and we will spend less money in the justice system.

Having made those remarks, I think I will not be supporting Mr Hanson’s suggestion that this be deferred in the Assembly. As I noted in my earlier comments, I do not think this approach interferes with the current inquiry being undertaken by the JACS committee because the committee may look at the relative severity of penalties between offences. But with the penalty units changing, that relativity will not change at all. I think, as Mr Corbell has just outlined, the committee is free to continue to look at matters around penalty issues without needing to defer this legislation. So I will not be supporting that referral and I will be supporting the bill today.

Question put:

That the Legislation (Penalty Units) Amendment Bill 2013 be referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety.

The Assembly voted—

 Ayes 8

 Noes 9

Mr Coe

Ms Lawder

Mr Barr

Ms Gallagher

Mr Doszpot

Mr Smyth

Ms Berry

Mr Gentleman

Mrs Dunne

Mr Wall

Dr Bourke

Ms Porter

Mr Hanson

Ms Burch

Mr Rattenbury

Mrs Jones

Mr Corbell

Question so resolved in the negative.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: The question now is that this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (5.37): I will speak briefly to close this debate. This bill is an important reform. First of all, it brings our penalty units amounts closer into line with penalty units in most other Australian states and territories, including the commonwealth.

Secondly, it provides for a statutory review mechanism. A statutory review mechanism is a valuable reform which will allow the government and the Attorney-

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