Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 745 ..
MR HARGREAVES: I move the amendment circulated in my name, which reads:
Paragraph 6, omit all words after and including "shall be placed" (2nd occurring) and substitute the following words:
"shall be placed in a package identified as documents immune from seizure and retained by or at the direction of the Clerk. When this material is no longer required by the Australian Federal Police the material shall be deleted to the satisfaction of the Clerk and the disks or tapes returned to their owners."
Paragraph 6 actually says, "where documents are included with other documents in electronic form on a disk or tape, the documents shall be printed out, only printed copies of such documents shall be placed in the package of documents not immune from seizure." This means that a photocopy or a transcript is taken of the disk or tape and put with the material that is going off to the AFP or wherever, and the original tape and disk remain.
However, if those transcripts are not certified as correct transcripts of that tape, then it is quite possible that they will be inadmissible, because there is no proof of their fidelity to the originals, as the two information sources are separate. If a tape, for example, was altered, it would be different to the material on the transcript.
In the interests of protecting the people who have the tapes and disks, I want to make sure that there is no possibility of monkey business, and so I am proposing this amendment. When I first twigged to this, I did seek the advice of the Clerk as to how this could be addressed reasonably quickly, and this amendment emanates from his discussion with the Government Solicitor's Office.
What this amendment means is that a competent person, for example, a justice of the peace unconnected with the area, can certify that they are true copies of the files on the disk or tape, so that all of the people involved in the process are protected. This is merely an amendment intended to protect any and all people who actually have material on such a tape when it goes to the police. With that, I commend my amendment, and the whole motion, to the Assembly and thank members for their forbearance.
MS DUNDAS (5.37): I rise to briefly speak to the motion and the amendment. The Democrats will be supporting this motion and believe it is an important part of the ongoing process that is happening in the Assembly at the moment.
However, I would like to draw members' attention to paragraph 8, which refers to costs. I hope that the cost to the territory and the Assembly of this investigation will not be great, as we have noted earlier in this chamber that there are more important things that we could be spending our money on.
MR STEFANIAK (5.38): I just want to indicate that the Liberal Party also supports Mr Hargreaves' amendment.
Amendment agreed to.
Motion, as amended, agreed to.