Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 3042 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
The Custodial Escorts (Consequential Provisions) Bill 1998 amends a number of Acts to ensure that persons appointed as escorts pursuant to the provisions of the proposed Custodial Escorts Act 1998 will be able to perform escort functions for the purposes of the amended Acts. For example, the Removal of Prisoners Act 1968 provides for the removal, by warrant issued to "all constables", from the ACT of prisoners sentenced to serve a term of imprisonment in a New South Wales prison. That Act is amended to include an escort officer appointed pursuant to the custodial escorts legislation within the definition of the term "constable".
Similarly, references in the Prisoners (Interstate Transfer) Act 1993 and the Prisoners' Interstate Leave Act 1997 to persons who may escort a prisoner are amended consequentially to provide that an escort officer appointed pursuant to the custodial escorts legislation can perform escort functions under those Acts.
As an escort officer may be required to carry a firearm for the purposes of performing his or her duties, escort officers will need to be licensed to carry and use such weapons. In order that the application of the Firearms Act to escorts not hinder the operations of the Corrective Services' Court Transport Unit, I propose to amend the Act to enable a firearm licence to be issued to a non-ACT resident where necessary for the person's business or employment in the Territory and amend the safe carriage and use requirements, designed for the maintenance of safety to other persons and property, so as to include a "without reasonable excuse" exception.
The first of these amendments, qualifying the current ACT residency requirement, will also benefit those New South Wales residents who are employed in the private security industry in the ACT or Jervis Bay and who will now be able to be granted an ACT firearms licence where required for that employment.
The second amendment, to include a "without reasonable excuse" exception to the offence in section 82, which requires the safe carriage and use of a firearm, will enable escort officers to respond to the particular nature of the work. It recognises the possibility that they may encounter circumstances in which their legitimate use of firearms may result in injury to, or the endangerment of the life of, another person. I commend the Bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Stanhope) adjourned.
MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (11.03): Mr Speaker, I present the Motor Traffic (Amendment) Bill (No. 5) 1998, together with its explanatory memorandum.
Title read by Clerk.
MR SMYTH: I move:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.