Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 August 2021) . . Page.. 2273 ..
government’s mismanagement of the AMC is at such an abhorrent level, the role of the inspector has never been so important.
The inspector has rightfully pointed out the challenges faced by staff at the AMC, including increases in overtime hours, the lack of de-escalation training and the need for further support to correctional officers when dealing with violent riots, such as those we have seen in recent months. Whilst we support the extension of the review period, the Canberra Liberals will be closely following the government’s implementation of the inspector’s recommendations.
This bill also makes important changes to the Crimes (Child Sex Offenders) Act 2005, which makes provisions around the registering of those convicted of the commonwealth offence of possession of a childlike sex doll or a similar object. It makes changes to the Crimes (Surveillance Devices) Act 2010 and Listening Devices Act 1992, to provide the legality for, and to specify the circumstances in which, body-worn cameras may or must be used by police officers. The key elements are that they must be worn only in the course of police duties, their use must be overt, and they must be used in dealings with members of the public. The bill also makes changes to the Terrorism (Extraordinary Temporary Powers) Act 2006, which extends the operation of that act by a year. Without that extension, the legislation and those powers would expire in November of this year.
The Canberra Liberals support these amendments. They provide greater certainty and legislative clarity for courts during their proceedings and seek to provide protection and support for our valued police and corrections officers. However, as with any legislation enacted in good faith and with good intentions, it is always about the implementation. We need to ensure that these amendments enhance and improve our laws and achieve the outcomes they were intended for. The Canberra Liberals will keep a close eye on the ongoing operation of these laws.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (11.31): I am pleased to speak in support of the Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill 2021. Across my portfolio areas I am acutely aware of the factors that are vital in fostering a safe, human rights-based criminal justice system. This legislation highlights many of these factors and demonstrates the government’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that our criminal justice system operates as effectively as possible, provides protection for vulnerable people, supports our police in the field and meets the community’s rightly high expectations.
Amendments to the Crimes (Surveillance Devices) Act 2010 and the Listening Devices Act 1992 will support the use of body-worn cameras by police officers in various situations and clarify the circumstances where body-worn cameras may or must be used by ACT Policing. Body-worn cameras are widely used by police nationally and internationally, and they have often been critical to achieving justice for various individuals. Although ACT Policing has used body-worn cameras in various situations since 2019, it is important that there is transparency and clarity regarding the use of this tool, which is something these amendments provide. Under