Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 21 August 2008) . . Page.. 3414 ..
The bill introduces a further authority for the chief executive to direct a corrections officer to strip-search a detainee under division 9.4.3 of the Corrections Management Act 2007. The bill restates the power that the chief executive has under the current section 113 of the Corrections Management Act to direct a corrections officer to strip-search a detainee.
However, the bill expands this power of the chief executive to direct a corrections officer to strip-search a detainee where the chief executive believes that it is proven upon reasonable grounds that a less intrusive means of searching is not available or appropriate in the circumstances.
These circumstances include where a detainee has not been under the control or immediate supervision of a corrections officer for a period and the detainee may have had the opportunity to obtain a seizeable item; and where a lower intensity search is not likely to detect more than a limited range of seizeable items.
This power is still subject to the requirement of proportionality that is contained in section 108 of the Corrections Management Act—that the exercise of the power must be necessary and rationally connected to the objective, the least restrictive in order to accomplish the object, and not have a disproportionately severe effect on the person to whom it applies.
To ensure that the power contained in this bill to strip-search detainees is not abused and is exercised in accordance with all relevant ACT legislation, the bill also introduces the requirement for the chief executive to develop a corrections policy or operating procedure in relation to strip searches conducted under division 9.4.3 of the Corrections Management Act.
I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Seselja) adjourned to the next sitting.
Legislative Assembly (Members’ Staff) Amendment Bill 2008
Debate resumed from 7 August 2008, on motion by Mr Berry:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Gentleman): Members, I have received advice from the Clerk, with due regard to standing order 156, that members Seselja and Porter should refrain from debating and voting on this matter.
Mr Smyth: Mr Assistant Speaker, I would like an explanation of that. My understanding is that any of the staff in Mr Seselja’s office are not covered by the proposals in this bill.
MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: The advice I have received is that staff in Mr Seselja’s office are covered by the code of conduct that this bill will affect and by standing order 156.