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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (8 December) . . Page.. 3998 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I thank Mr Kaine for that question. I think it is quite appropriate to explain what kind of information came out of that trip. My senior adviser undertook that extra study work while he was overseas. As Mr Kaine no doubt knows, he travelled to Ireland with a delegation that included Mr Quinlan and me but came back via the United States and Canada to gain further opportunities for exposure to the agencies in those places that Mr Kaine has mentioned. The meetings my adviser held were, in London, with the City of London Police Forensic Science Service; in New York, with the New York Police Department and the Australian Consul-General; in Washington, with the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Australian Federal Police Liaison Office at the Australian Embassy in Washington; and in Vancouver, Victoria, with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Ministry of the Attorney-General in the Government of British Columbia.

Mr Forshaw has produced for me a very extensive report outlining a number of areas where law enforcement agencies in each of those places have taken certain issues to a level which has not been the case in Australia. For example, he looked at the experience with the use of DNA evidence in courts in those places to produce a higher rate of conviction and at methods of policing. Members will be well aware of the controversial zero tolerance approach to policing in New York. I was interested in that and was very pleased that my adviser was able to spend some time there finding out what zero tolerance meant and whether it was a concept applicable in the ACT. My answer, incidentally, is probably not.

The discussions on a range of issues concerning a large number of things, including cameras and other things, were extremely valuable. I think the expenditure, which is fully outlined in the Assembly travel report, is entirely justifiable. Much of the cost of that trip was borne by my adviser himself, not by the ACT Government or the taxpayer. Specifically, he has advised me that the extra cost of flying back to Australia via the USA and Canada, as opposed to coming through Asia, which is the way the delegation came, was $436.20. He undertook two side trips on his journey back, one of $406 and the other of $353, to British Colombia and Washington respectively. Much of his other expenses he absorbed himself, although he made some claims for some transport costs and some meals. Mr Speaker, I think that is entirely justifiable. The information is of considerable value and I think it has been a worthwhile exercise in gathering information about what happens in other parts of the world.

MR KAINE: I ask a supplementary question. Will the Minister table the report completed by this staffer at the conclusion of his trip so that we can all have the benefit of what he discovered that was not otherwise available on the international Web?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I have received this report. I have not had time to read it as yet, but I will certainly be happy to table it.

Mr Kaine: You have not had time to read it since September? Gee whiz!

MR HUMPHRIES: It was not produced in September; it was produced much more recently, Mr Kaine. It is a long report of some 16 pages. I am happy to look at it, and if there is no sensitive information in it then I am happy to table it.

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