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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 3413..

Thursday, 21 August 2008

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Corrections Management Amendment Bill 2008

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.31): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Corrections Management Amendment Bill 2008 introduces new sections 113 into the Corrections Management Act 2007 which expand the current power of the chief executive to direct ACT Corrective Services officers to strip-search a detainee.

Following the Alexander Maconochie Centre functional brief and the enactment of the Corrections Management Act 2007, Corrective Services investigated the use of body scanning technologies.

ACT Corrective Services undertook a trial of the Soter X-ray body scanner at the Belconnen Remand Centre in late 2006 and early 2007 with the explicit permission of the ACT Radiation Council. The Soter scanner allows a detainee to be searched for contraband concealed on them without requiring the detainee to remove their clothes or to be touched by someone else in the searching process.

Following the completion of this trial, Corrective Services submitted an application to the ACT Radiation Council to have the scanner registered for use in the territory, and for the council to grant a licence to use the scanner at the Alexander Maconochie Centre.

Under the Radiation Protection Act 2006, the ACT Radiation Council is charged with the legal responsibility to ensure that the use of ionising radiation technologies such as the Soter scanner will not pose a significant threat of harm to the health and safety of people and the environment in the territory.

I am advised that the council is currently considering the application from Corrective Services to use the Soter scanner on an ongoing basis at the Alexander Maconochie Centre.

The bill I am introducing today ensures the safety and security of detainees, correctional officers and visitors at the AMC in the interim period when it will not be possible to use the Soter X-ray body scanner.

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