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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 4484..


v) Definition of an outbreak

An organisation-based outbreak is the occurrence of two or more cases of meningococcal disease with an onset within a four-week interval in a grouping that makes epidemiological sense, and where available microbiological characterisation of the organisms is the same. Groupings can occur in schools, universities, classmates, members of the same work group and community (Communicable Diseases Network Australia, 2001:26).

A community based outbreak is the occurrence of three of more cases of confirmed meningococcal disease within a three-month interval, which brings the rate of invasive disease in the community to 10 or more/100,000 total population in a three-month period, in a geographical area that makes epidemiological sense and where available microbiological characterisation of the organisms is the same (Communicable Diseases Network Australia, 2001:26).

Missing persons-privacy laws

(Question No 1737)

Mr Cornwell asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 5 August 2004:

(1) Is he able to say whether privacy laws prevent police who are investigating a missing person from accessing the individual's local or federal government financial or other records to determine whether any activity has occurred under the missing person's bank account numbers, taxation numbers, government benefit payments, licence renewals and concessions which would then enable the police to determine if in fact there is a chance that the missing person might still be alive;

(2) If there are such restrictions on police investigators due to privacy laws, what are each of these restrictions;

(3) What areas of a missing person's records do the police actually have access to in order to assist them to determine whether a missing person might still be alive or not;

(4) If police access to a missing person's personal records, to enable them to determine whether the missing person might still be alive, is not permitted under privacy laws, why not.

Mr Wood: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) ACT Police and the National Missing Persons Unit (NMPU) are prevented by privacy laws from accessing some information from an individual's records. ACT Police are able to receive specific information through formal requests and warrants. Agencies that are able to provide information include:

AUSTRAC database checks allow limited information of financial activity to be supplied but do not indicate that the activity is being conducted by the missing person;

ACT Police provide the name of the missing person to Centrelink who, if the person is confirmed as a client, send a letter to the client requesting that they contact Centrelink within 14 days. Centrelink will advise ACT Policing if the person is a


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