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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 2 Hansard (27 February) . . Page.. 305 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

can have a better debate on that with more members of the Assembly contributing. And, of course, there is also the power to exclude any person from any place.

I believe it is a step along a dangerous and unacceptable path of privatising and surrendering control over policing and security in our society. I do not think that this government has shown that it is serious in ensuring that it takes the responsibility of creating laws seriously. We saw it with the victims of crime legislation, and I think this is another example. I really hope that members will not support this bill and will vote against it even in the in-principle stage.

MR KAINE (11.00): I preface my remarks by saying that I support this bill in principle. I think that officers of the court are entitled to reasonable protection, whatever the circumstances that may arise. But, having said that, I have some problem with some of the detail, and I agree with much of the comment made in the report of the scrutiny of bills committee, of which I am a member. So it does concern me that we appear to be writing into our statute a situation where a security officer, who is not an officer of the court nor an official of any kind, is proposed to be given powers that, in my view, should rest only with a police officer or an officer of the court.

While I do not disagree with the principle of the bill, I think that the minister should be looking seriously at what the committee said and proposing amendments to eliminate those parts of the bill which are, in my view, exceptional and in some cases objectionable. So, when we get to the detail stage of the bill, I would hope that the minister himself will have regard for the comment made by the committee-it was not made lightly-and I would like to see the bill amended to take account of some of these matters that we raised.

I think that some of the law that is coming before this place lately is quite draconian, and there seems to be a theme running through it. There was the legislation that we were asked to pass that gives the security officers certain powers at sporting events and the like. I thought that was over the top, frankly, and this is running along the same theme.

Mr Speaker, while, as I said, I support in principle the notion that officers of the court and magistrates and judges should be able to provide themselves with suitable security for emergencies and the like, I believe that this bill goes a little bit too far in some respects, and I will be looking for amendments to delete those provisions.

MR RUGENDYKE (11.03): I presume that the genesis of this bill-and it becomes quite apparent when you read it-is that there is a need for security officers providing a service around the courts' precincts to have certain powers. It is of concern to me that the reason for that is that the AFP has, for whatever reason, given away its role in that process. However, I agree that that is a decision for the AFP and for government, and now we live with the consequences of that, and we see this legislation appear to allow the security officers to do the work of police, even though they are not trained by police with the appropriate police training.

So I struggle with giving security officers equal powers to police under these circumstances. What I cannot come to terms with is to give security officers greater powers than police have, and the scrutiny of bills report suggests that clauses 8 and 9 do confer greater powers upon security officers than the police have. When I read clause 8,

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