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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (25 March) . . Page.. 825 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

For a few weeks next year while the games of the Twenty-seventh Olympiad take place, the eyes of the world will be on Australia. Some of those eyes will focus on Canberra, which has the honour of hosting several events forming part of the Sydney Olympic Games. The Games will present Canberra with a unique opportunity to show the world what it has to offer.

It is the responsibility of the Territory Government and this Assembly to do what we can to ensure that the attention that the ACT receives as an Olympic host city reflects our generally pleasant and peaceful lifestyle. With that responsibility in mind, I have presented the Olympic Events Security Bill. As its name suggests, the Bill deals with the security arrangements for Olympic events to be held in Canberra and has been developed in consultation with the ACT region Australian Federal Police officers responsible for liaising with the Olympic security command in New South Wales and the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, SOCOG.

An unpleasant feature of modern life is that major sporting events have sometimes attracted an antisocial element whose actions have impaired the enjoyment or safety of both participants and spectators. The bombing at the Atlanta Olympics and last year's World Cup Soccer violence are two recent examples of conduct which has left people seriously injured. Closer to home, each summer brings us fresh examples of disruptive behaviour at international cricket matches, such as streakers and other pitch invaders. It is no wonder that legislation dealing with security at sporting events has from time to time been enacted in various Australian jurisdictions, including for the World Cup Athletics held in Canberra in 1985.

Attending an Olympic event is an experience that most people would consider to be enjoyable, although this may depend on whether one's favourite athlete or team does well. Spectators expect to have excitement and fun. They want to enter into the famous Olympic spirit. They do not want to feel as though they are inside the Pentagon, nor do they want to feel as though they are in the middle of a pub brawl. The security arrangements for such events therefore need to be effective and low key, so that everyone can feel safe but not stifled.

The structure of this Bill enables the measures it contains to be applied selectively to Olympic events so that the right balance can be achieved for each event according to the probable level of risk for that event. The application of measures to particular events will occur by way of a ministerial declaration that must be published at least a week before the event in both the Gazette and a major daily newspaper. The publication will put spectators on notice about the security arrangements for that event.

The measures which the Minister can choose to apply to Olympic events include new powers to request a search of personal property, such as bags or eskies, to facilitate checks for prohibited items or weapons hidden in such places; powers to request that a person permit a "pat down" of outer clothing, again to check whether a person has hidden a prohibited item or a weapon under his or her clothing; and powers to ban a person from bringing certain items into the Olympic venue.

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