Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 February 2018) . . Page.. 372 ..
Court before directing an occupier of a premises to remove any fortification of the premises.
Furthermore, the court must be satisfied that the premises are fortified, that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the premises are, have been or will be used in relation to a fortification offence and it is also necessary for the Chief Police Officer to have uninvited access to the premises in relation to the offence. The application is limited in that the order must precisely state the compliance period for the removal of the fortification and states that the fortification must not be replaced or restored and sets out various police powers.
So the bill is one that I think is important in dealing with the scourge of bikie violence that we have seen plague this town now for a number of years. It does provide the police with an important tool but, never missing an opportunity, let me say that although this is important we still have a situation where the police are dealing with this issue with one hand tied behind their back. I continue to advocate for consorting laws and I think until the police are given consorting laws we will continue to see, despite these fortification laws and others that have been brought forward, this continued violence in our suburbs. It is not going to deal with the specific problem we have. In many ways, what we will see is police reacting to a problem rather than being able to prevent the issues as they arise.
As members would be aware, I have brought laws into this place that have got the seal of approval from the Human Rights Commission, described as the best laws in the country. The government have previously argued they do not want anti-consorting laws because they are too strong and they engage human rights. I brought in laws that do not engage human rights and they said, “Oh, they’re too weak; we don’t want them.” It seems that no matter what we do the government will not support those laws but I still encourage them to do so with their own version of laws. It is important that the primary objective of this place is that we keep our community safe. Although I support these laws today it is evident that the government is failing to do that, which is principal in terms of our objectives as legislators in this place to keep our community safe.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (11.29): The ACT Greens will be supporting the bill. The bill forms part of a range of measures the government is taking to tackle outlaw motorcycle gang-related violence. The Greens believe that this bill will assist police to disrupt OMCG activity in Canberra and, in particular, will assist police with their investigations and will lead to more successful prosecutions related to OMCG activity.
The bill introduces a fortification removal scheme in the territory similar to those in operation in other jurisdictions in Australia. Fortifications are devices or structures used to prevent unwanted entry to the property. Across Australia, including in the ACT, law enforcement authorities have come across numerous examples of outlaw motorcycle gangs and other criminal groups using fortifications to prevent police entering a premises including when the police have obtained a search warrant. In March 2016 ACT Policing identified an OMCG clubhouse which was fortified with heavy steel doors preventing access to the clubhouse using traditional methods of