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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1993 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 August 1993) . . Page.. 2423 ..


Wednesday, 18 August 1993

_________________________

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms McRae) took the chair at 10.32 am and read the prayer.

POLICE OFFENCES (AMENDMENT) BILL 1993

MR HUMPHRIES (10.33): Madam Speaker, I present the Police Offences (Amendment) Bill 1993.

Title read by Clerk.

MR HUMPHRIES: I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Four years ago the Assembly conferred certain powers on the Australian Federal Police in this Territory. It did so after considerable debate and, indeed, after receiving the report of a select committee of the Assembly. Those powers were quite specific and quite carefully defined by the Assembly at the time, and I would like to briefly summarise them. The powers were contained in a new section 35 of the Police Offences Act 1930 of the Territory. The pertinent power was defined as follows:

Where a police officer has reasonable grounds for believing that a person in a public place has engaged, or is likely to engage, in violent conduct in that place, the police officer may direct the person to leave the vicinity.

A $200 fine was provided for a person not complying with that direction. Certain exceptions to the operation of that power were created. The power was not to be applied in respect of a person:

(a)          picketing a place of employment;

(b)          demonstrating or protesting about a particular matter; or

(c)          speaking, bearing or otherwise identifying with a banner, placard or sign or otherwise behaving in a way that is apparently intended to publicise the person's view about a particular matter.

"Violent conduct" is also defined to mean:

(a)          violence to, or intimidation of, a person; or

(b)          damage to property.


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