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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 2 Hansard (27 February) . . Page.. 306 ..

MR RUGENDYKE (continuing):

it concerns me that police in Civic are unable to use powers such as this when they see someone walk into the Canberra Centre, for example. This is a greater power than police currently have. It is the same is with clause 9. I am greatly concerned about those two clauses in particular.

I notice that the government amendment has picked up the scrutiny of bills committee's third concern about competency of security officers, but I do not think that the government's amendments have gone far enough in addressing the concerns of the scrutiny committee's report. I look forward to amendments to bring it back to at least equal powers with police, although that is a bit difficult for me. But I recognise that this legislation may be necessary to enable security officers to do their work. So I will look at amendments in the context of the debate. But I support the bill in principle.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General) (11.06), in reply: We are dealing just with the in-principle stage today. As I understand it, Mr Osborne too has amendments, and he will not be able to move them today. I propose that we adjourn debate when we get to clause 1. I thank members for their comments. Initially, Mr Speaker, I refer members back to the tabling statement by the previous Attorney, Mr Humphries. He stated that the territory does not, at the present time, have legislation to address the issue of security on court premises. Other jurisdictions do. He mentioned Victoria, Queensland and the Commonwealth.

He mentioned that when the judges of the ACT sit in the Federal Court they have the benefit of court security legislation, but when they sit in their own ACT Supreme Court there is no such protective legislation. He went on to say that the powers in this bill are consistent with the powers that exist in the Commonwealth jurisdiction in the Family Court and the Federal Court. As with the practice in these courts, of course it is not intended that every person who wishes to enter a court will be subject to a search. But the point there is that these powers are consistent with what is there for the Federal Court when the Federal Court sits in the ACT.

Mr Stanhope: That's not right, Bill.

MR STEFANIAK: Well, it is what the previous Attorney has said there. Check the Federal Court, Mr Stanhope. Mr Speaker, nothing is going to stop the public properly entering courts. I get a little bit concerned when Mr Stanhope presupposes that officials are going to misuse powers. In a way, it is almost suggesting that these people are not capable of exercising powers properly. I think that is largely wrong to say-

Mr Stanhope: Well, what was the Fitzgerald inquiry in Queensland-

MR SPEAKER: Will you be quiet, Mr Stanhope. You have spoken already.


: Anyway, there are provisions in this bill that ensure those powers have to be exercised reasonably. In terms of the security officer, the security officer is defined in the bill as-I will just get the definition clause-as "a police officer", or "a sheriff's officer", and I do not think too many members have problems with that, or "a person who is appointed as a security officer under section 17". Now, Mr Rugendyke may have a concern there. I am not going to read out clause 17 but members can read

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