Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4366..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
Mr Speaker, the Security Industry Bill 2002 (the bill) has been developed to regulate the ACT security industry. The ACT security industry employs approximately 2,000 Canberrans and is estimated to be worth $60 million per annum. Since 1998 it has been unlawful to work within the industry without registration under one of the five codes of practice supported by the Fair Trading Act 1992. The codes are co-administered by the Office of Fair Trading and the Australian Capital Territory Security Protection and Investigation Industry Council Inc (ACTSPIIC).
The five codes regulate the following sectors of the industry:
access control (installation of physical or electronic devices, electronic alarms, closed circuit TV or other electronic surveillance systems and locksmiths);
bodyguards (provision of close personal protection);
cash transit (transportation of cash, precious stones and the like);
crowd marshals (monitoring and control of people in public places and at major events; and
guard and patrol (monitoring and safeguarding of property).
ACTSPIIC reviewed the codes in 1999 and highlighted public safety issues associated with the continued participation in the industry of unregistered employees and principals. In response to these concerns, a national competition policy review of the codes was undertaken in 2001. The national competition policy review of the ACT security industry recommended that the ACT consider the adoption of a regulated licensing model for the ACT security industry. The national competition policy review also noted the urgent need for training and development of competencies in the industry.
Another difficulty with the regulation of the security industry is that members of the ACT security industry are eligible for licensing interstate under the Mutual Recognition Act 1992, although the requirements for entry into the industry are significantly lower in the ACT. This has caused significant concern for other jurisdictions and has highlighted the lack of regulation of this industry in the ACT.
Mr Speaker, this bill is based on the New South Wales Security Industry Act of 1997 and it will replace the existing ACT codes of practice. The bill provides a framework for regulation of the ACT security industry, with the specific requirements for the security industry to be included in the regulations.
The objectives of the proposed legislation are:
to enhance compliance activities, primarily through the introduction of offences, including for unlicensed principals and employees in the industry;
to bring the ACT into line with other Australian jurisdictions;
to clearly outline and monitor standards;