Page 2435 - Week 08 - Thursday, 6 August 2015

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In the worst cases this may lead to businesses resorting to practices such as wheel clamping as their only real way of recovering debt. That would not be a satisfactory outcome for both the operator, who is incurring significant new expense, or I am sure for the motorists. I know that there may have been instances of unscrupulous practices in other jurisdictions, but this is not apparently the case here. I have not had any allegation or assertion that that is the case here. Removing the right of a legitimate business to that possibility is itself a substantial risk.

I would be intrigued as to what the scrutiny committee would make of this, but this has not been through scrutiny. When we are restricting the rights of individuals or businesses, for something like this not to have come through scrutiny gives me no comfort in having an ability to support it.

This bill fundamentally alters the right of discovery for one single group of businesses. The legal means that we have established in our society have been long-thought-out and refined over many years and in many cases to provide equality before the law and access to its processes. This would plainly create an unequal application of the law where certain businesses have their right to discover curtailed in ways that others do not.

In terms of the urgent need for this amendment, I am advised by my staff who have received a briefing that this is in response to a court case currently on foot. I need hardly remind this chamber that kneejerk, rushed legislation in response to a single case is not a good way to make law. This is especially so when the urgent amendment alters both a fundamental business right and a broad right to the utilisation of legal processes.

At the very least, if such a change were to be considered, it would have to be in a properly examined manner. We would like this to go through scrutiny and not be rushed through at the last minute in order to block one company in one case. That is not the way to enact law in any parliament. I foreshadow that we will not be supporting that amendment when it is moved by the minister.

In summary, there are some good things in this bill that the opposition is pleased to support. Indeed there are some areas that will make it easier for people on our roads; there are some areas that will make it safer for people on our roads. And we support that. But the element that will make it illegal for people who are doing something that is currently pretty safe—it is consistent with the Australian road rules and consistent with what can be done with an electric motor—is unfair and punitive. The case has not been made out. Simply doing it as a blanket ban, outlawing something that is currently legal, is an illogical argument. We will not be supporting the amendment that will be moved by Mr Rattenbury for the reasons that I have outlined.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Justice, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Transport Reform) (12.04), in reply: I thank Mr Hanson for his contribution to the debate. This government is committed to improving road safety in the ACT and in particular to reducing the number of senseless deaths and injuries that

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