Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 6 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2401..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
accountability measures were developed in the model legislation to ensure the use of surveillance devices was restrained and not abused.
I will take the opportunity briefly to outline those safeguards again and the accountability mechanisms contained in the bill. These include annual report requirements, including numbers of applications, arrests and prosecutions relating to the warrants sought; the establishment of a warrants register which will contain information relevant to the warrant, including when it was executed, by whom, what kind of surveillance device was used, when and where; the requirements for warrants to set out comprehensive details relating to each authorisation; and providing the Ombudsman with extensive powers to inspect records to determine compliance, including powers of entry, full and free access to all records and the power to require a person of an agency to provide necessary information.
The Crimes (Surveillance Devices) Bill complements the controlled operations and assumed identities legislation and, together with the government's legislative response to serious organised crime, provides an appropriate and balanced response to this important law and order community safety issue. I would like to thank members for their comments today and for their support of the bill overall and I commend it to the Assembly.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Clauses 1 to 10, by leave, taken together and agreed to.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11:42): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 2 at page 2485].
This amendment simply rectifies what appears to be a drafting inconsistency in the bill. Currently, the bill provides, at clause 11, that a law enforcement officer can make an application for a surveillance device warrant if he or she suspects on reasonable grounds that certain specified activities will justify the application. But a little further on, in clause 13(1)(a), a judicial officer is required to test the application so as to be satisfied that "there are reasonable grounds for suspicion or belief founding the application".
In my speech in the in-principle debate I discussed at some length the question of the threshold levels of suspicion versus belief, so I do not intend to repeat that discussion here. Suffice to reiterate that I have written to the Attorney-General to ask him to take the question to SCAG in an endeavour to achieve language consistency in the legislation across all participating jurisdictions.
In the meantime, I noted in my speech that New South Wales and Victorian legislation are consistent and that ours, too, should be consistent with theirs. My