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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 3 Hansard (2 April) . . Page.. 855..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

are not able to enter a premise after a particular time of the night? If you are already in the premises you can obviously stay until closing time, but you cannot move from one premise to another in the early hours of the morning. Other jurisdictions are looking at that. I think Queensland has implemented that sort of regime.

These are all the issues that the government is committed to exploring in the discussion paper. This is a very important reform for our community. Our community as a whole is very interested to see how we can use our liquor licensing laws to better regulate the sale of alcohol in our community and to make sure it assists in reducing harm associated with alcohol abuse in our community. That will be the government's objective as we move forward with this discussion paper. (Time expired.)

Australian Federal Police—security clearances

MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Attorney-General. Attorney, as you are aware, the AFP processes significant amounts of security clearances. My question is: is there a backlog of clearances submitted to the AFP that are handled in the ACT but have not yet been processed, and can you give the Assembly an indication of how large this problem is?

MR CORBELL: I am unclear if Mr Mulcahy is referring to requests for clearances from ACT government employees—

Mr Mulcahy: No.

MR CORBELL: or from the broader community. If it is in relation to the broader community, I am aware that there is a delay in seeing those clearances completed by the AFP. The reason for that is that the AFP receives a huge number of requests for clearances every year from across the country. I do not have the figures to hand, and clearly it is not an issue over which the ACT government has any direct control, because this is done as part of the AFP's national policing responsibilities. But I am aware that there is considerable delay in some instances when it comes to getting security clearances, and that is because of the very significant increase in the number of jobs and number of positions where employers are now seeking a police clearance as part of engaging a person to work in a particular industry.

That said, I know that the AFP are working hard to try and address that matter but it is not an issue unique to the ACT; indeed, it is driven by the overall demand for security clearances across both the private and public sectors across the country.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Mulcahy?

MR MULCAHY: Yes, thank you. Attorney, what are you able to do through ACT Policing to address this matter, if anything?

MR CORBELL: The difficulty with these clearances is that the AFP obviously check their own records, but they also cross-reference those checks against every other police service in the country, to see whether or not someone has a matter pending or completed or relevant which is held in the records of police services in other states or


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