Community Protection (Dangerous Offenders) Bill

About this Item
SpeakersWhelan Mr Paul; Page The Hon Ernest
BusinessBill, Division, Second Reading

Second Reading

Debate resumed from 31 October 1996.

Mr WHELAN (Ashfield - Minister for Police) [10.34 a.m.]: This is a most important bill. The final report of the Law Reform Commission in regard to sentencing has just been received by the Government and will be released for public debate. This bill deals specifically with sentencing practice.
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Because the principles contained in the bill are very important, it has been moved to the top of the legislation list. As all honourable members will be aware, the grant of priority for the bill in no way guarantees that it will be finalised today. No-one could expect that the bill will become law today. The Government will not ram it through without proper public debate and consultation.

Bills of this nature should be subject to the widest possible public debate, and the Government hopes that the granting of precedence will result in such debate. The Government has not been advised whom the honourable member for The Hills consulted about the bill. In his second reading speech he referred to Canada, the United States, Victoria and New Zealand, and to recent legal changes in New South Wales. But he does not provide any definitive evidence of how the laws of those common law countries are likely to apply in this State. In 1993 the Victorian Parliament passed a Sentencing (Amendment) Bill which allowed a court to impose an indefinite sentence. That is not necessarily justification for changing the law in this State.

Mr Richardson: It has been tested in the High Court.

Mr WHELAN: The honourable member for The Hills referred yesterday to the decision of Kable in the High Court. He insinuated, during his three-minute contribution, that this legislation would enable State courts to override decisions of the Family Court. He knows that is impossible. That statement is unfair to victims of crime. The Family Court decision relating to Kable cannot be overridden by a State court. I advise the honourable member to stop raising the false hopes of people who have already been severely victimised and traumatised. The Government will consider the principles raised in the bill in the context of the broader issues of the report released today. The principles of the legislation should be considered following an evaluation of the report of the Law Reform Commission, and open and public debate should take place. For those reasons I seek the leave of the House to adjourn this debate to enable detailed consideration to be given to the text of the report.

Leave not granted.

Mr E. T. PAGE (Coogee - Minister for Local Government) [10.40 a.m.]: I move:
      That this debate be now adjourned.

The House divided.
Ayes, 49

Ms Allan Mr Markham
Mr Amery Mr Martin
Mr Anderson Ms Meagher
Ms Andrews Mr Mills
Mr Aquilina Mr Moss
Mrs Beamer Mr Nagle
Mr Clough Mr Neilly
Mr Crittenden Ms Nori
Mr Debus Mr E. T. Page
Mr Face Mr Price
Mr Gaudry Dr Refshauge
Mr Gibson Mr Rogan
Mrs Grusovin Mr Rumble
Ms Hall Mr Scully
Mr Harrison Mr Shedden
Ms Harrison Mr Stewart
Mr Hunter Mr Sullivan
Mr Iemma Mr Tripodi
Mr Knight Mr Watkins
Mr Knowles Mr Whelan
Mr Langton Mr Woods
Mrs Lo Po' Mr Yeadon
Mr Lynch Tellers,
Mr McBride Mr Beckroge
Mr McManus Mr Thompson
Noes, 44

Mr Armstrong Mr O'Doherty
Mr Beck Mr D. L. Page
Mr Blackmore Mr Phillips
Mr Chappell Mr Photios
Mrs Chikarovski Mr Richardson
Mr Cochran Mr Rixon
Mr Collins Mr Rozzoli
Mr Cruickshank Mr Schipp
Mr Debnam Mr Schultz
Mr Downy Ms Seaton
Mr Ellis Mrs Skinner
Ms Ficarra Mr Slack-Smith
Mr Fraser Mr Small
Mr Glachan Mr Smith
Mr Hartcher Mr Souris
Mr Hazzard Mr Tink
Mr Humpherson Mr J. H. Turner
Dr Kernohan Mr R. W. Turner
Mr Kinross Mr Windsor
Mr MacCarthy
Dr Macdonald Tellers,
Mr Merton Mr Jeffery
Mr Oakeshott Mr Kerr

Mr Carr Mr Peacocke

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Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Motion for adjournment agreed to.