Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 999 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (12.18 am): Mr Speaker, I just want to rise briefly to indicate our support also for the retention of these provisions. I ask members to imagine how this legislation could operate effectively without a search power being there. Picture the conversation out on the street: Police officer, "Are you carrying a knife, sonny?". Young person, "No". Police officer, "Okay". And off he walks. It does not make any sense not to have that backup power, and I think, frankly, that members should not imagine this can be excised easily, without doing considerable damage to the legislation itself.
Clause agreed to.
MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (12.20 am): Mr Speaker, I move:
Page 2, line 29, omit the clause, substitute the following clause:
"1. Return of knife or thing which is seized
Section 349ZZD of the Principal Act is amended by inserting before subsection (1) the following subsection:
`(1A) If a knife is seized under section 349DB, the person from whom it was seized or, if that person is under 16 years of age, his or her parent or guardian is entitled to have the knife returned if -
(a) a prosecution for an offence under section 495 in respect of that knife has not been commenced before the end of 60 days after the seizure; or
(b) a prosecution for an offence under section 495 in respect of that knife has been commenced before the end of 60 days after the seizure and the prosecution (and any appeal to a court in relation to that prosecution) has been completed without the knife having been forfeited under section 349ZZH.'.".
I present the explanatory memorandum to this amendment and the other amendment. I might speak cognately to both amendments which have been circulated in my name. Amendment is needed to the existing provisions in the Bill which govern the procedure for the return of any knife seized. This is to overcome the concern that the effect of the existing provision is to require the immediate return of a knife, once seized.