Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (27 October) . . Page.. 5141..
I think electro-incapacitants are a legitimate option in the use of force continuum. What we need to recognise is that it's at the upper end of the use of force and any application of that particular option needs to be commensurate with the situation.
That is the Chief Police Officer clearly articulating an understanding of where and how tasers would be used—not as a first response option, but as a measured response based on the situation. We are still waiting for the report. The Chief Police Officer has not provided, as I understand it, advice to government that he requests or is seeking an expanded role for tasers.
But if he does go to the government, provides the evidence and argues that there is a case that tasers should be deployed further to the front line—I can envisage cases where that would be appropriate—I am comfortable to leave it to the minister and to the Chief Police Officer to determine that decision.
Obviously, we would await the response from the minister that is in his own amendment that he will be reporting back to the Assembly. But we support our police. We want to give them all the tools possible. We do not think that the Assembly should be the body that is dictating to the police the exact circumstances of where and when they can use tasers or who can and cannot use them.
I think that that is an operational matter. The fact is that the threshold decision about whether tasers can be used by a police force in the ACT has been made. They can use them; that is quite clear. How they should be used becomes an important matter for the Chief Police Officer.
I do not think this is an abrogation of responsibility. It is not a matter of the Assembly ignoring the issue or not recognising the difficulties that come with it. It is about making sure that our police are empowered and that the executive arm of government is doing what the executive arm of government should do in this case.
Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.
Sitting suspended from 12.29 to 2 pm.
Questions without notice
MR SESELJA: My question is to the Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water. Minister, the New South Wales government today slashed its solar feed-in scheme by two-thirds to 20c per kilowatt hour. The New South Wales Premier noted that "the risk in continuing the scheme in its current form would be further rises in electricity prices". Minister, does your generous scheme, which is now the most generous in the country, risk further electricity price hikes like it has in New South Wales?