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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . . Page.. 2769 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

I am happy that Mr Stanhope has indicated he supports some measures here. There are a number of measures which are in fact civil libertarian measures. It is not just a package to increase powers. There are also some other measures. It is a wide-ranging series of amendments, but it is a balanced series of amendments.

I close by thanking officers of the working group, officers of my department and various members of the police force and the DPP who assisted in getting this package up and running. They did so in a short period of time. I think the ordinary citizens of the ACT will be the beneficiaries from this. I will be very disappointed to see huge gaps torn in this package by the Assembly. If you do so, despite your fine rhetoric, you will not be serving the citizens of the ACT. They are the ones who are going to be the beneficiaries from this.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clauses 1 to 4, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 5.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (10.07): The Labor Party will be opposing this clause. Clause 5 of the bill proposes an amendment to permit the police to take identifying material from a young person who is in lawful custody for an offence committed if the young person is 16 or 17 years old. If the Attorney had bothered to consult anyone other than the police and the prosecutors, he would have learned that this provision is anathema to those who work with young people. Even if he had limited his consultation to, say, the Youth Coalition, he would have learned that. If he had limited his consultation to that kind of organisation, he would have had a different perspective on this provision and would have brought some more wisdom to the debate.

The scrutiny of bills committee has pointed out at some length that at the very least, and this goes to so much of the comment that is made by other than those who comprised the minister's crimes committee, there has to be some justification for a provision such as this and for the changes that are being proposed here. There is simply no justification for this provision. The Attorney has not provided any justification. There is nothing in his presentation speech as to why this provision is necessary. Because there is no justification, one has to be suspicious that what the police want, what the prosecutor wants or what whoever it was that proposed this amendment wants is what the scrutiny of bills committee calls, interestingly, windfall identifications against material from old crime scenes. Is that really the justification for this amendment? That is information that we got from the scrutiny of bills committee. The committee surmises that what the government was seeking to achieve through this amendment was the opportunity for windfall identifications against material from old crime scenes.

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