Page 3242 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 17 September 2013

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We know there are many people eligible and waiting for public housing that we cannot provide for. We should look comprehensively at all the housing assistance measures the government provides to ensure that we are effectively providing the best level of support in the fairest way.

With those issues noted, for the time being it is reasonable that the current scheme continue until a proper assessment of housing assistance measures can be undertaken. As such, I will be supporting the bill.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Community Services) (11.45), in reply: I thank members for their support, some in a gracious way and others in a less gracious way, as is normally the case on these matters. But I will take the unanimous support of the Assembly for this bill and thank those involved in its drafting. As I am losing my voice, I think I will stop speaking.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Crimes (Sentencing) Amendment Bill 2013

Debate resumed from 6 June 2013, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (11.46): The issues currently being experienced in our Supreme Court are well known and we have debated them extensively in this place. I said in those debates that my view was that we should exhaust other measures to make the court as efficient as possible before we appoint a fifth judge. The chief justice in his recent retirement remarks observed that a fifth judge is inevitable, and that does seem to be a true statement. The debate clearly is about the timing of when that appointment will take place. I have no doubt that in time we will need to appoint a fifth judge, but we must first work to ensure that the court is operating in as effective a manner as possible.

The bill today has previously been considered by the Assembly. In that debate the Greens opposed the measure. At the time I expressed my concern about how it would operate and said that the better course of action was to undertake a comprehensive review of sentencing. It is important to say that I still believe that there should be a comprehensive review of sentencing and that the current inquiry by the JACS committee will make an important contribution to the debate. However, having had the chance to further reflect on the changes proposed in the bill, I have reconsidered

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