Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 28 March 2017) . . Page.. 1118 ..
freedom of movement and association is to protect the safety of members of the community by enhancing ACT Policing’s ability to disrupt organised crime in the ACT, with specific focus on the activities of outlaw motorcycle gangs. The limitation will also assist in protecting certain victims from the convicted offender and will be instrumental in removing negative influences from the offender’s life, providing them with an opportunity for rehabilitation.
In addition, there will also be an amendment to the Firearms Act 1996 which will provide that firearms seized under any territory law can be disposed of under section 262, clarify that it is an offence to be under the influence of alcohol or a drug only when a person has physical possession of a firearm and clarify that a firearms dealer can test a firearm on property other than the registered premises.
Currently it is unclear whether or not a dealer can test a firearm on property other than the registered premises. Firearms dealers, particularly manufacturers, need to test firearms in a number of environmental conditions to ensure that they are fit for purpose. Some of this testing, such as testing the firearm in rain or wind conditions, cannot practically occur on registered premises. Dealers will be responsible for ensuring that they have appropriate permissions to test firearms on the land; for example, permission of the owner or occupier of rural land. Dealers will also be responsible for ensuring safety provisions within the Firearms Act, including safe storage, are complied with when testing firearms to ensure the safety of the community when testing is taking place.
One of the final aspects of this bill is an amendment to the Criminal Code 2002 to provide statutory alternative verdicts for aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery. At present there is no statutory provision for an alternative verdict of burglary when aggravated burglary is charged, nor is there an alternative verdict of robbery when aggravated robbery is charged. At common law there is no clear basis for returning such an alternative verdict.
While the prosecution may bring forward multiple charges, the rule against duplicity in charging of criminal offences requires the DPP to eventually proceed with only one charge where the charges relate to the same set of facts. These amendments stress the comments of Justice Burns in the Crown v Donnelly. In that case Justice Burns drew attention to the lack of an alternative statutory verdict of burglary which could have been returned had an aggravating factor for aggravated burglary not been established by the prosecution.
This bill brings forward a range of necessary amendments to the Crimes Act and I commend them to the Assembly.
MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra) (11.21): I am pleased to rise in support of the Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 today. The bill makes a number of important changes to improve the ACT’s criminal legislation framework. The amendments are fairly wide ranging, incorporating changes to the investigation of child sex offences, parole matters, sentencing, burglary and robbery offences, and firearms regulation.