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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (15 June) . . Page.. 1881 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

Assembly should not abdicate its responsibility for deciding how to secure the security of the courts.

MS TUCKER (4.09): We will be supporting the amendment, which seeks to add to the bill a list of provisions to be included in the contract between the relevant authority of a court and the security provider. These include some basics, such as the fee to be paid in compliance with this act and every other territory act. But also, importantly, provision is made for the Freedom of Information Act and the Ombudsman Act to be applied to security arrangements for courts.

As Mr Stanhope said, these provisions are similar to those in the Victorian act and it is surprising that the government did not include similar arrangements in the first place. I understand that there is a bit of a tussle going on between the department and the courts as to whose responsibility it should be. But we are comfortable with that responsibility resting with the courts.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (4.10): I would like to very briefly respond to a couple of comments that the Attorney made. I think his claim that the bill as it stands enhances accountability is not justifiable in the circumstances. I do not believe it does that at all.

The Attorney suggests that the Assembly would in some way be abrogating its responsibility for security arrangements if it were to accept the amendment. I do not think the position the Attorney has adopted would enhance the accountability arrangements of security guards or the provision of security services in the courts. I just do not see the logical connection between the two.

The Attorney also made the point that the arrangements will be far more open, and he regards this as a tenet of accountability. I would have thought there probably are a range of guidelines that one would impose or insist on in relation to security guidelines that in fact should not be made public. So I do not accept some of the assertions the Attorney makes in relation to this.

MR RUGENDYKE (4.11): I indicate that, based on the speech given by the Attorney, I will not be supporting this amendment.

MR KAINE (4.12): I support the amendment put forward by the Leader of the Opposition. I think this is too important a matter to be left to arbitrary determination by a security officer who, in many ways, can be anyone. I think it is reasonable to set down the arrangements under which security officers will operate. I think the amendment sufficiently specifies and determines the powers of security officers. I think we would be derelict in our duty if we did not incorporate this sort of provision in the act.

Question put:

That Mr Stanhope's amendment be agreed to.

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