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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 27 October 2010) . . Page.. 5167 ..

that it should play a role in this decision making, I certainly think members should have access to this information. In relation to Mr Corbell’s amendment, I move:

Omit paragraph (2)(a), substitute:

“(a) that the Government will report to the ACT Assembly on:

(i) the outcome of the ACT Policing Review;

(ii) the current level of de-escalation and non-weapons based training provided to all ACT Police;

(iii) details of the taser training provided to members of the Specialist Response and Security Tactical Response team and how this compares to other jurisdictions’ training requirements;

(iv) the use of force continuum adopted by ACT Police; and

(v) all use of force incidents involving a handgun, taser, oleoresin capsicum spray or baton;”.

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (3.16): I did indicate earlier that we would not be supporting the amendment and I explained the reasons for that. I would just like to address a couple of issues that Mr Rattenbury discussed in his speech.

Mr Rattenbury made an allegation, essentially an assertion, that there is no difference between what we introduced earlier this year, which was a regime of random roadside drug testing, and the potential for ACT Policing to further expand the use of tasers. Quite clearly, the distinction is that one required an amendment to legislation, to the Road Transport (Alcohol and Drugs) Act 1977. It would have been impossible for the police to conduct the regime that they are going to conduct in due course without that legislative amendment. That is entirely different from tasers: police already have the power and the ability to use tasers in the ACT; there is no legislative requirement that exists that requires them essentially to seek further permission from the Assembly to use them.

I would also make the point that there is no consistency here from the Greens. They are not seeking that there is approval where police officers can use other pieces of equipment that they have issued to them. They have no objection, I assume, to the fact that police officers are all issued with firearms. There is no question about the issuing of firearms, which are issued to front-line police officers and which are obviously far more lethal weapons than tasers. They are not asking for debate on where batons can be used, which can cause significantly more damage than a taser. They are not asking for a change in or a debate on where capsicum is issued.

We have got to make sure that we understand also that, if we were to be involved in a debate in this place where we make the decision about where tasers could be used, we would have to ask why we would not be making a decision on and having the same debate about all the other instruments that police use as well. Should police all be issued with handcuffs, for example?

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