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Justice Legislation Miscellaneous Amendments Bill 2019 - Second Reading

31 October 2019
Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr WOODRUFF (Franklin) - Madam Deputy Speaker, the Greens support these miscellaneous amendments to the Sentencing Act, the Criminal Code Act and the Criminal Law (Detention and Interrogation) Act. I do not have any statements to make about them because they are non-controversial amendments and we appreciate that.

Section 44 of the Sentencing Act 1997 is being amended to provide a default period of 28 days within which fines are to be paid in the event that courts do not specify payment periods or payment deadlines, which is manifestly sensible to clear up what must have been an annoying anomaly or silence in the act that I am sure has created unnecessary paperwork for people in the past. It is good to clarify that.

The Criminal Code Act 1924 amendment to section 401, which widens the definition of a sentence so that an order for deferring a sentence of a person can be appealed by the Crown. The conversations I have had about this bill suggest this is an important change.

The amendment to section 42AL of the Sentencing Act 1997 provide a single justice with the power to remand or bail a person subject to a home detention order made by the magistrate when the person has been arrested. It means that people do not get stuck waiting for longer than they must over weekends and other periods. It enables them to come before a magistrate and for an order to be made in a timely fashion and is an important and welcome change.

We do not have any other comments to make on this bill and we look forward to the courts being more free-moving. There have been problems with people bouncing between different court jurisdictions and it seems as though some of these amendments will help make that process more smooth and timely and that is a welcome change.