Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 3 Hansard (30 March) . . Page.. 823..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
fact that there has been little opportunity or encouragement to comment. While there has been cursory inquiry and comment in the ordinary legislative scrutiny processes, there has been no formal parliamentary inquiry, for instance, in any of the other states or the Northern Territory.
The ACT has actively sought the comments and opinions not just of the police but of a whole host of interested parties. We wanted community involvement. That is why, unlike the other jurisdictions, we went down the path of issuing an exposure draft and referring it to the committee. While the government has sought to draft the best law possible, we are of course open to consultation. I have said in this place before that ours is an inclusive government which takes its consultations very seriously because we are convinced that this will ultimately produce the best laws for the community we serve.
Accordingly, having regard for the recommendations contained in the committee report, I would like to outline a number of improvements on the exposure draft that have been incorporated into the bill I am introducing today. The preamble has been expanded to provide a clearer explanation for why preventative detention is needed-specifically, why special legislation needs to be enacted to combat the threat posed by persons suspected of being involved in terrorist activities.
Provisions dealing with multiple preventative detention orders and time frames have been revised to improve clarity and readability. The "reasonable and necessary"element in clauses throughout the exposure draft has been replaced with "reasonably necessary". I indicated in the committee hearings that I would request advice from the Department of Justice and Community Safety in relation to the formulation of the test and was advised that there is little difference between the two formulations. Because of this, the government has accepted the committee's recommendation and included the "reasonably necessary"test in the bill to make the test more consistent with the legislation of other jurisdictions.
The requirement for a senior police officer to set out in an application for a preventative detention order the particulars of all periods for which a person has been detained under the ASIO Act has been clarified to provide that the senior police officer need not disclose information where to do so would constitute an offence under the ASIO Act. The provision of legal aid representation for a person who is the subject of a preventative detention order application will be subject to the Legal Aid Act. Provision of legal assistance will be subject to a means test, as provided for in the act under guidelines made by the Legal Aid Commission. Initial hearings will be covered by the duty lawyer services provision in that act and subsequent hearings will be subject to an appropriate means test under the guidelines.
Provisions relating to the exercise of police powers under the legislation have been improved, where appropriate, to ensure that a police officer identifies himself or herself before exercising any powers and gives reasons for the exercise of the powers. The exposure draft provided that a police officer detaining a person need not explain the effect of a preventative detention order to a detained person or tell a detained person that an order has been extended if it is impractical to do so.
The bill includes an additional safeguard by requiring the detaining police officer to record details of the circumstances that made the conveying of information to the