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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 5 Hansard (11 May) . . Page.. 1537..


MS MacDONALD (continuing):

That Ms MacDonald be discharged from the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure, for the meetings scheduled for 23 May and 15 August 2006 and that Ms Porter be appointed in her place for those meetings.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Terrorism (Extraordinary Temporary Powers) Bill 2006

Detail stage

Clause 16.

Debate resumed from 9 May 2006.

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (11.34): My amendments Nos 7 and 8 probably go to the real crux of this matter because they deal with the tests and what they would do. Amendment No 7 deletes clause 16 (3) (b) and in its place inserts a provision that, basically, would not apply to New South Wales and the rest of Australia. Clause 16 (3) (b) at present states that a senior police officer has to be satisfied on reasonable grounds:

(i) that it is reasonably necessary to detain the person to prevent a terrorist act; and

(ii) that detaining the person under the order is the least restrictive way of preventing the terrorist act mentioned in subparagraph (i); and

(iii) that detaining the person for the period for which the person is to be detained under the order is reasonably necessary to prevent the terrorist act.

There are two things there we have no drama with, but I suggest that the test should be that he or she be satisfied on reasonable grounds:

(i) making the order would substantially assist in preventing a terrorist act happening; and

(ii) detaining the person for the period for which the person is to be detained under the order is reasonably necessary for the purpose of substantially assisting in preventing a terrorist act hap

The key words there are "substantially assist in preventing a terrorist act happening", as opposed to "the least restrictive way of preventing a terrorist attack happening". This was an issue that was before the legal affairs committee, the federal Attorney-General's Department and the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, Mick Keelty. They all had problems with "least restrictive way of preventing a terrorist attack".

As I said earlier in the in-principle stage, it is crucially important that we have the same tests nationally. It is ridiculous if the AFP have to operate under two different tests. It would be very difficult, and maybe even impossible, for anyone to properly define the least restrictive way of preventing a terrorist attack. That makes it so much harder for the police and for the courts to interpret a different standard to what is applied in the rest of


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