Wednesday 22 November 2006


Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - Mr President, I suppose we should always be cautious in imposing yet more regulations on the normal pursuits of ordinary people. There is no doubt that our constituents are increasingly living under a heavy burden of legislation. However, Mr President, in scrutinising this Marine Safety (Misuse of Alcohol) Bill you are bound to give the utmost priority to the public good.

There is no doubt that excessive consumption of alcohol on the water has been a contributing factor to marine accidents and even deaths and this bill is intended to counter this unfortunate trend. But will this proposed legislation, as it is presently drafted, achieve that aim consistent with the public good?

Ms Thorp - You cannot legislate against idiocy.

Mr FINCH - That is right.

Mr Parkinson - I don't want to see you in charge of a vessel next year.

Mr FINCH - Mr President, deterrence is a combination of the odds of being caught breaking a law and a penalty imposed if you are caught. Some argue that the certainty of being caught far outweighs the possible penalty in deterring potential law-breakers but it could be argued with this bill that the ultimate result will be that not many people will be caught therefore many will break this proposed misuse of alcohol law because there will be a low probability of being detected.

We must always be wary of introducing laws which are hard to enforce, however given that there is indeed a problem with the misuse of alcohol in a recreational boating environment I am bound to support this proposal in principle but let us hope we can correct some of its perceived deficiencies before its final reading.