Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 11 September 1996
Page: 3244


Senator BOB COLLINS(12.08 p.m.) —In respect of all the Greens amendments which relate to penalties—that is, amendments 3 to 7—we will be supporting amendments 3, 6 and 7, but opposing amendments 4 and 5. The reason we are opposing amendments 4 and 5 is that, in respect of these offences, the effect of the Greens amendments is to remove any option of imprisonment, which we do not think, in respect of these particular offences, is warranted.

With respect to amendment 3, we agree that is not a problem—penalty units rather than imprisonment. Committee members would recall that, effectively, we defined this the last time this was debated when there was some confusion about whether penalty units could in fact be interpreted as prison terms. That was quite definitively ruled out. So the effect of the Greens amendments 4 and 5 is to remove any imprisonment option, which we do not think is appropriate.

However, in respect of schedule 1, item 50, page 27, and schedule 1, item 52, page 28—and I apologise to the committee for this late notice, but the paper is being prepared now—we will be moving our own amendments which would add to the existing provisions which only provide an imprisonment penalty. They will be in respect of Greens amendment 4 to add the option of 100 penalty units in schedule 1, item 50, page 27 and amendment 5 to add 10 penalty units in schedule 1, item 52, page 28.

I apologise to the committee for this oversight, but these are in fact the same amendments that we moved in the House of Representatives to these provisions. It is not, with respect, too difficult to understand. As I say, we are supporting three of these Green amendments, but the problem with amendments 4 and 5 is that we do believe an option of imprisonment or penalty units is desirable in this case.