Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 1 May 1991



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 1 May 1991

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Parliamentary Record 3


Debates for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994




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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 1 May 1991 therefore, we should have CPI on the jail sentence really does not jell on this. We are looking at the potential for fraud by alteration. Mrs Padgham-Purich: Greater magnitude for crime. Mr Bell: Did you blokes actually decide this as a policy issue? Mr MANZIE: Yes. We always examine these things in detail, Neil. Mr Bell: In Cabinet? Mr MANZIE: Therefore, I decline your invitation to amend them. Mr BELL: I find this extraordinary. There are 2 issues here. Mr Manzie: That is as far as I am going. Mr BELL: First, as I mentioned in the second-reading debate, there are other offences in this regard. I do not accept the argument from the Attorney-General that, because it is now electronic information ... Mr Manzie: No, it is just a sign of the times changing. Mr BELL: Yes, it is a sign of the times changing. Inflation is a sign of the times, but you do not inflate prison sentences. First, there is a jurisdictional issue. If the government takes a policy decision that offences in respect of title registration should be moved out of the lower courts into the Supreme Court, that should have been stated. That is a major change in a law. It is not a major change in the law to increase an ancient fine of $1000 to $40 000. What are we talking about? Mr MANZIE: We are talking about giving the courts the ability to make an assessment regarding the severity of the crime. In some cases, it may be even higher than that amount. Mr BELL: We are talking about an A5 clerk in the Land Titles Office ... Mr MANZIE: No, we might not be. We might be talking about a computer hacker who is employed by a multi-millionaire to alter titles to such an extent that he can walk away with $100m. Mr Hatton: Tens of hundreds of millions of dollars. Mr BELL: Let us talk about the possibilities. If we talk about computer hackers, they will go for a row under the Criminal Code anyway. Mr MANZIE: They will go for a row under this as well, won't they? Just relax, Neil. Mr BELL: Mr Chairman, I am prepared to accept that the Attorney-General 1s intractable on this issue, but I do find it quite extraordinary that there is an increase from 3 years to 10 years for this particular offence. We will have to agree to differ on that. Amendment negatived. 876