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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 14 Hansard (30 November) . .

Page.. 5387..


gangs and it will assist police to access premises to obtain evidence related to a broad range of offences which are punishable by five years imprisonment or more. This definition is consistent with the Victorian approach to fortification removal as it sets an appropriate threshold to capture serious offences.

An example of an offence captured by the scheme is the offence created by section 171 of the Crimes Act of prescribing or supplying anabolic steroids. The bill will allow the Chief Police Officer to apply to the Magistrates Court for a fortification removal order if the Chief Police Officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the premises are, have been or will be used in relation to the prescription or supply of anabolic steroids. For example, the Chief Police Officer may have reason to believe that the occupier of the premises has supplied anabolic steroids to someone else in the ACT and that a supply of anabolic steroids is located on the premises which could be used as evidence of the offence. The threshold prescribed by the bill also captures drug-related offences such as the offence created by section 614 of the Criminal Code 2002 of possessing any substance, equipment or instructions for manufacturing a controlled drug.

The fortification removal scheme will apply to offences punishable by five years imprisonment or more, to ensure that police can access premises to investigate organised crimes such as the possession of equipment with the intention of using it to manufacture a controlled drug to sell to another person.

The bill creates two new criminal offences. New section 252ZA of the Crimes Act provides that it is an offence to fortify premises where the person knows the premises are connected to a fortification offence, or is reckless about whether the premises are connected to a fortification offence, and intends that the fortification will prevent uninvited entry to the premises or part of the premises.

New section 252ZB of the Crimes Act creates an offence of replacing or restoring a fortification that was previously subject to a fortification removal order. A person commits an offence if they know or are reckless about whether the premises have been the subject of a fortification removal order and they know or are reckless about whether the premises have been or will be used in relation to a fortification offence. A person also commits an offence if they intend that the fortification will prevent uninvited entry to the premises or part of the premises. This offence criminalises the reconstruction of a fortification at the end of a fortification removal order.

These offences recognise how important it is that our police are able to access a property to investigate crime. The Canberra community expects that where a court grants a search warrant to ACT Policing, the government does everything it can to ensure that police have the physical capability to execute that search warrant.

This bill will assist ACT Policing to investigate serious and organised crime and protect the Canberra community. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Hanson) adjourned to the next sitting.


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