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Thursday, 25 November 2010
Page: 3883

Mr McCLELLAND (Attorney-General) (6:43 PM) —in reply—I thank the previous speakers for their contributions to the debate. The Service and Execution of Process Amendment (Interstate Fine Enforcement) Bill 2010 implements a decision of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General to replace the existing framework enabling states and territories to enforce fines imposed by a court in another jurisdiction. The new scheme facilitates a registration of court imposed fines in the jurisdiction in which the fine defaulter resides and enables them to be enforced in the same way as a locally imposed fine. Any fine payment will be transferred back to the state or territory which originally imposed the fine. When operational the new scheme will allow for quick, simple and efficient enforcement of court imposed fines across borders in the civil jurisdiction. The scheme will ensure that interstate court imposed fines are no longer enforced through the arrest and imprisonment of fine defaulters.

The SEPA Act, as I have referred to, will pick up the alternative less punitive sanctions that are now used by the states and territories to enforce their own fines. The use of more appropriate enforcement options for court imposed interstate fines accords with the government’s Access to Justice Framework. In conclusion, the measures within this bill provide a cooperative solution to one of the challenges posed by our federal system and are consistent with the federal government’s continuing commitment to resolve legal disputes using the most appropriate means. I commend the bill to the House.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.