Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)
Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Tuesday 27 February 1990 follow every person who went to obtain a syringe because they would have a pretty fair idea what they intended to do with it. And you know I am right. Clauses 13 to 21 agreed to. Clause 22: Mr MANZIE: Mr Chairman, I move amendment 101.6. Amendment agreed to. Mr MANZIE: Mr Chairman, I move amendment 101.7. Amendment agreed to. Mr BELL: Mr Chairman, I want to raise some questions about the need for clause 22, that certain offences may be dealt with summarily. Recently, we increased the money 1 imits in the Lower Courts. When thi s bill was presented to the Assembly, it woul d have been necessary to have thi s cl ause because of the money limits. The money limit in the Local Court jurisdiction has risen to $40 000 as a result of our amendment in October or November last year. I imagine there is still a necessity if you want these cases to be conducted in the Lower Court because of the extraordinary jail terms that some of those clauses provide for. I am most unhappy about clause 22. The Attorney-General is aware of the distinction between summary and indictable offences. I do not believe that magistrates ought to be burdened with cases where somebody might be put away for 25 years or, in the, case of supplying heroin to a child, for life. Lower Courts have an extraordinarily diverse workload and I do not believe that the magistrates would welcome the responsibility of deciding cases like that. It is also most likely that they would be appealed. I do not believe clause 22 is appropriate. I cannot recall how many years jail has to be attached to an offence before it is regarded as an i ndi ctab 1 e offence. Whether it is 5 years or 10 years, it is certainly less than 25. I think that this is an issue that needs to be addressed with respect to that clause. Mr MANZIE: Mr Chairman, the amendments are formal. The first is to ensure that all penalties of 14 years or less, including fines, can be dealt with summarily. The second is to make it clear that, where a lesser penalty than $10 000 or 2 years is prescribed, that lesser penalty is the maximum penalty. Otherwise it is a standard clause which enables the less serious indictable offences to be dealt with summarily. Clause 22, as amended, agreed to. Clauses 23 to 27 agreed to. Clause 28 negatived. New clause 28: Mr MANZI~: Mr Chairman, I move amendment 101.8. The amendment is purely formal. Instead of applying section 147 of the Criminal Code to this legislation, that section has been transferred because it is no longer needed in the code. The new clause gives the court power to fine drug traffickers as well as sending them to prison. There is no limit on the fine and, in default of payment, a person can be imprisoned for up to 8858
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