Proposed legislation changes are being finalised that may allow the collection of DNA from a child. Under the current legislation in Tasmania, it is illegal to take DNA from children under 10 years of age. The legislation changes were sparked by the case of Gary John Devine who is serving time for prostituting a 12-year-old girl. Devine is also suspected of fathering the child of the girl’s then 15 year-old sister, but police cannot take the baby’s DNA to prove it.
In an update on the pulp mill saga, a second legal bid to stop work on the Tamar Valley project has been commenced by the Tasmanian Conservation Trust in the Supreme Court in Hobart. The Trust argues that the permits had lapsed as the pulp mill was not ‘substantially commenced’ before the August 30 deadline. It is also asking the court to determine whether dam work permits under the Water Management Act should have lapsed at midnight on August 30 and what powers the Assessment Committee for Dam Construction has to grant a new permit. The Supreme Court is yet to set a date for the hearing.
NOELLE RATTRAY is a solicitor in Hobart.