Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 16 August 2018) . . Page.. 3079 ..
I said, these are some examples of the efforts being made to tackle serious criminal gangs.
MS ORR: Minister, are you aware if ACT Policing have used the provisions under the Confiscation of Criminal Assets Act in relation to serious criminal gangs and, if so, what has occurred?
MR GENTLEMAN: An excellent supplementary question. ACT Policing have been using the provisions of the Confiscation of Criminal Assets Act. ACT Policing recently advised me of their activities under the provision, and I am advised that in 2017-18, 28 matters were subject to restraint or forfeiture, including penalty orders. The total value of these actions was more than $20 million. I understand that to help facilitate the use of these provisions, the court has set aside two days this month to consider criminal asset matters. This is one more than the usual monthly practice.
The types of cases last financial year ranged from drugs to arson to fraud. In one drug-related matter, two houses were subject to orders under the act and a $900,000 penalty was imposed. In another drug matter a $6 million penalty was imposed. Penalty orders require an offender to pay for the benefits derived from the commission of an offence. Of course, drugs are one way that serious criminal gangs can finance their activities.
MR PETTERSSON: Minister, how is the government supporting ACT police to investigate the finances and other assets of serious criminal gangs?
MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Pettersson for his question. In addition to the legislative provisions that have been strengthened by this government, we are providing additional resources and personnel to police.
I have spoken about how serious criminal gangs do not have any regard for the law, but they do care about their cash and assets. This is why it is very important to be able to track and understand the finances and assets that these gangs might be using.
This is why this government has boosted the capacity within ACT Policing to do that. We have already provided funding for a forensic accountant and in this year’s budget we are building on this with $1.6 million in additional funding. This will enable ACT police to recruit an additional forensic accountant to help strip wealth from criminal gangs as part of Taskforce Nemesis’s efforts to disrupt and deter serious criminal gangs.
MS LEE: My question is to the Minister for Planning and Land Management. I refer to a recent decision by ACTPLA to revoke a DA approval issued in 2017 for construction of a hard stand structure and associated works, including a rail siding, on block 11 section 8 Fyshwick by Capital Recycling Solutions. An internal review found that the project was wrongly assessed on the merit track. Minister, why was a development application mistakenly issued in 2017 for block 11 section 8 Fyshwick?