Page 4769 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 1 November 2017
introduction of them here today in the ACT, they would be used. They are the orders that we need.
Consultation with governments in other states indicates that, notwithstanding the issues that have been raised, no jurisdiction is entertaining the notion of repealing their legislation. So the situation of the safe haven in the ACT will remain. Without a legislative response, the ACT will be isolated as the only jurisdiction in our area without legislative protection, and the criminal activity will continue, based on advice from our Chief Police Officer.
This process shows that we have done everything possible to make this legislation human rights compliant. A very detailed submission was made by the Human Rights Commission outlining where the legislation could be improved to make the proposal human rights compliant, and every single one of the Human Rights Commission’s recommendations was incorporated into this bill: every single recommendation. And may I say that it is a much improved bill as a result. I thank them very much for their input. Let me be clear, though: that said, I am less concerned with the rights of violent criminals than I am with the safety of innocent bystanders in our suburbs who will be killed or severely injured if we do not act.
In conclusion, the time for debate on the need for this legislation is long past. I have been through the arguments and opposition to this bill. I have shown that, through working with the Human Rights Commission and others, we can develop strong legislation that answers every recommendation of the Human Rights Commission.
I have shown that there is a very real and very present danger to our community right here and right now, and we are all aware of it. I have shown that you cannot hide behind reports on different laws in different jurisdictions which utterly fail to address the problems of laws in our territory.
If we fail to pass this bill, we will be failing the people of the ACT. If we fail, these events will become more and more violent. If we fail, there will be more shots ringing out in our suburbs, more firebombings and more terror. If we fail, the next headline will not be “War zone”, it may be “Killing zone”, if we fail in our most fundamental responsibility: to keep our people safe.
That is at the very core of this debate, Madam Speaker. Do you protect the rights of criminals or protect the innocent people of our suburbs? I and the Canberra Liberals will always protect the rights of women, children and innocent bystanders. It seems that the Labor Party and, as I understand it, the Greens, are more concerned with protecting the rights of violent criminals. I genuinely hope that the Labor Party and the Greens can see past whatever ideological issue they have with this bill, have a careful look at what we have tabled, engage with us, discuss these issues with the Human Rights Commission and see what they have to say about it, and join with me and the Canberra Liberals in standing up to these thugs and protecting the people of the ACT. I commend this bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Ramsay) adjourned to the next sitting.