Repeat dangerous driving offenders will lose a presumption in favour of bail in the ACT, in a move designed to respond to the impact of unsafe drivers.
Labor's Marisa Paterson amended her bill so it would apply only to recidivist dangerous driving offenders, in a move that was supported by the Greens but opposed by the Liberals.
"This critical reform is based on careful consideration of evidence, a balancing of human rights and a deep-seated concern for the safety of the community," Dr Paterson said.
The original bill, found by the Assembly's scrutiny committee to be potentially incompatible with human rights obligations, had been introduced in June in response to a recommendation from a dangerous driving inquiry.
The Greens said they supported the amended bill but did not voice their approval when it passed the Assembly on Thursday afternoon without a division being called.
Rachel Stephen-Smith, a senior Labor minister, said the amendment was fully supported by Labor and rejected the Liberals' assertion it had been agreed as a result of giving in to Greens' pressure.
Deputy Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson said the debate showed Dr Paterson was being forced to do something against her will, weakening a provision in her proposed amendment.
Mr Hanson said he had sympathy for Dr Paterson, who, he said, had been rolled by Labor and the Greens.
Dr Paterson said she fundamentally believed the Attorney-General, Shane Rattenbury, did not understand the issue of dangerous driving, echoing comments she made in the Assembly in September, and criticised the junior coalition partner for "ideological grandstanding".
Mr Rattenbury had expressed concerns about the impact removing a presumption for bail for all people charged with dangerous driving offences would have on vulnerable segments of the community, including Indigenous people.
Ms Stephen-Smith, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Minister, said: "I'm not sure whether Mr Rattenbury has any evidence that these particular offences are ones for which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people come into contact with the justice system in any particular overrepresented way or if it is an offence where they are particularly seen to come into contact with the justice system.
However, Ms Stephen-Smith said she could understand why the Greens were uncomfortable with the unamended bill, that would apply to all people charged with dangerous driving offences, but said the amendment to cover just recidivist offenders would improve the bill.
Dr Paterson said, during the debate, to Mr Rattenbury: "You speak of evidence; there's no evidence used in your arguments. It is all just words."
Dr Paterson said she believed the Greens had an ideological position she found difficult to swallow.
"As much as we can focus on recidivism and reducing recidivism and getting people out of our criminal justice system, I very much believe that we have to focus on the victims as well and their rights, and the rights of the public to be safe on our roads," she said.
Dr Paterson also criticised the delay in establishing a law and sentencing advisory body, which had been promised by Rattenbury and to which the Attorney-General intends to refer bail and sentencing laws for consideration.
Mr Rattenbury defended his record on the advisory body, saying he had proceeded with the project despite having a budget bid rejected. He also issued criticised the decision, made in the previous Assembly term under Labor attorney-general Gordon Ramsay, to drop a law reform advisory body.
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Dr Paterson had earlier spoken of the death of 16-year-old Tyson Gavin, her brother-in-law's son, who was killed in a car crash in July 2012.
"Tyson was in the backseat of a car with three other teenagers. The car at speed hit a tree on Eggleston Crescent in Chifley. Tyson died at the scene as a result of dangerous driving," she said.
Dr Paterson said Tyson was remembered each day, but each day brought a reminder of a "deep, unjust tragedy".
"I spoke to Jason, Tyson's father, this morning. I wanted to share some of his words. He said, 'There's no justice for families who are victims of dangerous driving in our system'," she said.
"He described the court processes as all about deals between lawyers and said that no one would ever understand how unjust it is that your child is killed and there are no repercussions for those that took his life.
"I hope today that this bill will be passed and will go some way to recognising the severity of these dangerous driving crimes and will lead to significant consideration of public safety in the determination of bail."
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