Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 19 October 2010) . . Page.. 4602 ..
available to specialist response police, and that process is a process that I believe has worked well in the community to date. I have indicated previously that the government would need to be convinced that it is desirable to expand the use of tasers to other officers within ACT Policing and that safety considerations must have a paramount role.
I expect the Chief Police Officer to complete his review of the use and the desirability of expanding the use of tasers in due course. I have had a discussion with the Chief Police Officer and with the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police about the matter, and we have agreed that following the completion of that review the Chief Police Officer will discuss the matter with me, and I will also have the opportunity to discuss the matter with the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police.
It is important to make clear that this decision is ultimately one that will need to occur jointly between myself as the minister and the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, who has operational control of ACT Policing. Indeed, the broader expansion of tasers will require changes to the commissioner’s orders to permit them to be made available as a use-of-force option to general duties officers, or indeed other officers more broadly. But the government’s position at this time is that we need to be convinced and there needs to be good reason for the further expansion of the availability of tasers. I will be happy to keep members informed of progress in this regard.
MR SPEAKER: Supplementary, Ms Bresnan?
MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, who has ultimate authorisation to expand the use of tasers in the ACT? Is it you, as the minister for police, or the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police force? And, as you did mention it just previously, can you expand on the legislative or regulatory instrument which provides for that decision?
MR CORBELL: Officers of ACT Policing are sworn members of the Australian Federal Police and they are subject to the direction and orders of the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police. However, given the significant public interest in this matter, and indeed the broader community interest in this matter, the government has made clear, and the Australian Federal Police have indicated, that this is a matter that will need to be discussed between the government, as the purchaser of the service, and the commissioner, as the provider of the service. So this would be a joint decision between me and the commissioner—and indeed with the advice and guidance of the Chief Police Officer.
MS HUNTER: Supplementary.
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Hunter
MS HUNTER: Minister, will the final decision regarding tasers take into account the findings of the Western Australian experience—being that, when tasers were provided to all general duty police, injuries to police rose 22 per cent and the use of handguns doubled?