Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 October 2022) . . Page.. 2891 ..
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Attorney-General, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Gaming and Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction) (5.15), in reply: I thank Mr Cain for his comments on the bill. I start by tabling the following papers:
Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee—Report 8—Inquiry into Terrorism (Extraordinary Temporary Powers) Amendment Bill 2022—Government response, dated October 2022.
Revised explanatory statement to the Bill, dated October 2022.
The explanatory statement includes a minor amendment to include reference to the statutory review that was undertaken into the Terrorism (Extraordinary Temporary Powers) Act 2006 and how the amendments presented in the bill reflect the conclusion reached in the review.
The government introduced the Terrorism (Extraordinary Temporary Powers) Amendment Bill in May this year. The bill extends the operation of the act and, importantly, the bill also makes several amendments to improve human rights protections in the act and ensure that it achieves a more appropriate balance of community safety, powers of police and individual rights.
The amendments contained in the bill were developed through consultation with key stakeholders. I thank those involved in the preparation of this bill for their valuable contributions. The bill will extend the operation of the act for a further five years from its date of expiry of 19 November 2022. It is critical for this bill to be passed to ensure that the powers contained in the act continue to be available to law enforcement agencies in the territory.
As a summary, the act contains extraordinary legal powers which allow law enforcement agencies to respond where there is evidence that a terrorist act is imminent or where a terrorist act has occurred. The act allows for the preventative detention of a person where the Supreme Court is satisfied that a terrorist act is happening or expected to happen in the following 14 days and that the order will assist in preventing or reducing the impact of the terrorist act. The act allows for a person to be detained for up to 14 days without charge.
The act also includes powers which allow for an investigative authorisation which lasts for up to 28 days. This permits police to exercise special powers that would assist in apprehending a terrorist suspect, investigating a terrorist act or reducing its impact.
The suite of powers contained in this legislation is indeed extraordinary and we must be vigilant in ensuring that we apply appropriate scrutiny as to whether these interventions are warranted. Clearly, the powers are there for the purpose of allowing law enforcement agencies to prevent and respond to terrorist acts—a purpose that I think we all endorse.
Whether these powers strike the right balance with the human rights they limit is a serious question. It is one to which the government has directed a great deal of