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Friday, 11 October 1985
Page: 1127

(Question No. 500)


Senator Peter Rae asked the Minister representing the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 11 September 1985:

(1) When will all the sections of the Crimes Amendment Act 1982 be proclaimed.

(2) Why have they not been already proclaimed.

(3) What is the nature of the financial obligation which would accrue to the Commonwealth in respect of payments involved in the imposition or work orders, as provided for by the Crimes Amendment Act 1982.


Senator Gareth Evans —The Attorney- General has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Consideration is being given to amending the Crimes Amendment Act 1982 to enable the unproclaimed provisions to be brought into force progressively as each jurisdiction enters into the arrangements the existence of which is a prerequisite to the operation of those provisions.

(2) Those provisions of the Crimes Amendment Act 1982 which have not yet been proclaimed require the making of arrangements by the Governor-General and each of the State Governors and the Administrator of the Northern Territory under which federal offenders may serve non-custodial sentences such as community service orders under the supervision of State or Territory officers. Difficulties have been raised by the States concerning certain financial and administrative aspects of the proposed arrangements.

(3) By virtue of section 120 of the Constitution the States are obliged to make provision for the punishment of persons convicted of offences against Commonwealth law. Accordingly, no direct financial obligation would accrue to the Commonwealth in respect of payments involved in the imposition of work orders, as provided for by the Crimes Amendment Act 1982. The Commonwealth Grants Commission would, of course, take into account the expenses incurred by the States in providing community service order schemes for federal offenders when determining the relative funding needs of the States.