Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 February 2018) . . Page.. 375 ..


not simply standard security measures taken to prevent standard criminal entry, such as burglars. As such, ordinary Canberrans will not have to fear that this will affect their freedom to install security cameras, extra door and window locks, roller shutters or other such basic protections that indeed we encourage. Appropriately, the occupier of a fortified premises will also have an opportunity to present evidence to and argue before the Magistrates Court that their fortifications are, in fact, reasonable.

On this basis I believe that the government has taken a balanced approach in addressing human rights issues including the right to a fair trial. The legislation also creates discrete offences for the construction of fortifications in the first instance, after the legislation comes into effect.

This sort of legislation has been previously introduced in other state and territory jurisdictions where criminal gangs are more prevalent and aggressive and has had some success. I understand that in the past five years since the passage of similar legislation in Victoria the powers have been used five times. A 2015 review by the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General found the legislation is an effective deterrent measure to prevent the construction of fortifications in the first place, ensuring that the future potential crime sites are easily accessible.

I believe that these measures will both be effective and balance our human rights obligations. Our government has demonstrated that we will equip our crime fighting authorities and prosecutors with a comprehensive and evidence-based suite of powers and prosecutorial support.

Anti-fortification provisions will be an important tool in tackling the activity of criminal gangs and will complement the measures and investments our government has already put in place to continue to ensure that we remain the safest jurisdiction in the country to live in. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Urban Renewal) (11.38): Today I speak in support of the Crimes (Fortification Removal) Amendment Bill 2017. Fortification removal laws have been designed with the support of ACT Policing to assist our police to prevent and investigate crime in the ACT. Where police obtain a warrant to enter and search premises for evidence of a crime, fortifications may prevent police from accessing the premises. They may provide the occupier with time to leave the premises to avoid police arrest or to destroy evidence before police can access the premises and seize that evidence. The bill will allow ACT Policing to arrange for prior removal of fortifications so that police can access premises across Canberra when a search warrant is obtained.

As we have heard, In March 2016 ACT Policing identified a fortified property in the ACT. The property was being used as an outlaw motorcycle gang clubhouse. The clubhouse had heavy steel doors and bars on the windows which prevented police from using traditional methods of forced entry to access the premises. The property was rented by a member of the criminal gang from a private owner. ACT Policing resolved the issue by assisting the private owner to initiate proceedings in court to


Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video