Page 3451 - Week 10 - Thursday, 20 October 2022

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The Integrity Commission must keep secure records of warrants and warrant applications, and the Inspector of the Integrity Commission can inspect them at any time. The Inspector of the Integrity Commission must also inspect the records at least twice per year and provide reports on the result of the inspections to the Speaker of the Assembly. The Speaker of the Assembly must then provide these reports to the commonwealth minister.

Imposing these checks and balances is mandatory for the Integrity Commission to be recognised under the commonwealth legislation. I would also like to point out that strong oversight systems like this are mandatory for the police forces and integrity commissions of other states and territories that have these powers.

In fact, when asked about this bill, former New South Wales Judge and Chair of the Centre for Public Integrity, the Hon Anthony Whealy KC, said on ABC radio earlier this week:

Whether it’s integrity agencies trying to uncover corruption or police agencies or crime commissions trying to uncover and unravel criminal conspiracies of the most serious kind, I think it’s generally accepted, even by the community.

He also said:

Provided these powers are used responsibly and properly, they are necessary.

I have every confidence that this bill puts in place the necessary checks and balances on the Integrity Commissioner’s ability to exercise telecommunications interception powers, because it is a requirement for recognition under the commonwealth act.

I am aware that Ms Lee has consulted closely with the Integrity Commissioner to ensure this bill is fit for purpose, and will continue to do so. Ms Lee welcomes comment from any member of the Canberra community or any colleagues in this place regarding the bill. I know she is looking forward to working with all of you to strengthen public integrity in the ACT. I commend this bill to the Assembly.

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

ACT Policing—acknowledgement

MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (3.38): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

(a) ACT Policing has faced a particularly challenging few years with bushfires, COVID-19, and protests; and

(b) front-line policing is often dangerous, difficult and stressful work;

(2) further notes that 29 September 2022 was National Police Remembrance Day; and

(3) thanks and commends ACT Policing members for the vital work they do for the ACT community.

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