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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 3 June 2014) . . Page.. 1638 ..


MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (10.12), by leave: I move amendments Nos 1 to 3 circulated in my name together [see schedule 1 at page 1690].

I also present a supplementary explanatory statement. I beg your pardon, Madam Speaker; it is a revised explanatory statement.

MADAM SPEAKER: Are there two explanatory statements, Mr Corbell?

MR CORBELL: Yes. I beg your pardon, Madam Speaker, I present an explanatory statement and a revised explanatory statement. The amendments that I am presenting today deal with a number of matters which have come to light following the original presentation of this bill. The amendments I am moving clarify the authority of ACT public sector agencies to deal with records originating with or received from, and make disclosures to, commonwealth intelligence bodies under the bill.

The bill establishes 11 territory privacy principles designed to promote the protection of personal information. Territory privacy principle 6.2 contained in the bill creates exemptions from the usual requirement that consent is required if the use or disclosure of the information is required or authorised by or under Australian law or a court or tribunal order, or the public sector agency reasonably believes that the use or disclosure of the information is reasonably necessary for one or more enforcement-related activity conducted by or on behalf of an enforcement body.

The bill defines “enforcement-related activities” as including the prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution or punishment of criminal offences for breaches of law imposing a penalty or a sanction and the conduct of surveillance activities, intelligence-gathering activities or monitoring activities. In developing the bill it was considered that these exemptions would be sufficient to allow appropriately constrained disclosure information to commonwealth intelligence agencies.

However, ASIO requested that consideration be given to further clarifying the power of ACT agencies to disclose information to commonwealth intelligence agencies. It is important to ensure that ACT public sector officers have certainty that they can disclose and receive information to and from commonwealth enforcement intelligence agencies without breaching the Information Privacy Bill.

The exemptions added to the bill are based on the equivalent provisions in the Victorian Information Privacy Act 2000. Similar exemptions are found in the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 and the privacy laws of Tasmania and the Northern Territory. Preparing information in a responsible way builds trust in public sector agencies and contributes to more open and transparent governance. The bill, as amended, will balance the need to protect personal information privacy with the realistic imperative that operational areas at both the territory and federal levels must be permitted to perform their statutory and lawful functions effectively. I commend the amendments to the Assembly.


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