Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 4 Hansard (7 April) . .
The last measure in this bill removes an existing requirement under the act that the responsible minister report to the appropriate standing committee annually on covert surveillance authorities issued by the Magistrates Court. To foster greater transparency of this important oversight function, the annual report directions will be amended to instead require the relevant directorate to report on covert surveillance authorities in its annual report.
I thank the industry and community stakeholders who contributed to the review. Having thoroughly considered the practical needs of the community and industry raised by the review, I am confident that these amendments strike an appropriate balance between the interests of ACT employees and vital respect for a worker's right to privacy. By introducing greater certainty, transparency and practicality, the amendments in this bill will foster stronger relationships of trust in the workplace and lead to a more productive, respectful and cohesive ACT workforce.
Lastly, I flag that I have a proposed amendment to this bill. It simply requires the government to review after two years the new surveillance power which allows external surveillance outside the workplace in limited circumstances. This is an additional safeguard to ensure this power works as the government intends it to work. I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Corrections, Minister for Education, Minister for Justice and Consumer Affairs and Minister for Road Safety) (12.12): Notwithstanding standing order 182A, I seek leave to move an amendment to this bill that has not been considered by the scrutiny committee.
MR RATTENBURY: I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name and table a supplementary explanatory statement to the government's amendment [see schedule 1 at page 1323].
As I briefly touched on at the conclusion of my remarks, this is a very simple amendment to add in a review period of two years. I note that it has not been considered by the scrutiny committee but, as members will have seen, it is technically a very simple amendment. I think as a matter of content it is also a very simple amendment. I appreciate the support of the Assembly in moving this amendment at a late stage in the process but it was an idea brought to me quite late in the discussions. I think it is a good idea, and that is why I was happy to be flexible and bring it into the legislation at a late stage.
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