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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (20 August) . . Page.. 2486 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

Monitoring the staff who have access to the written-off vehicle register must be strict, as the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption has noted in its report on car theft that there is a possibility for corruption surrounding the register and the criminal activities of professional car thieves.

This bill also modernises licences and the keeping of photographic images to help streamline the licensing process. There are privacy concerns around this that Ms Tucker discussed in detail. However, I believe that the safeguards in this legislation and compliance with the Privacy Act are all that the Assembly can do at this point. It is up to the public servants, police and departmental staff to monitor the use of photographs and to ensure that they are being used only for the purposes listed in this legislation.

Finally, Minister, can you please reassure us that the funding detailed in this bill is the funding that will be used.

MR WOOD (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for the Arts and Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services) (5.15), in reply: Mr Speaker, I thank members for their comments and their support with qualifications. I will start with the last point. Ms Dundas, I have no doubt that we are not paying for it twice, but I am sufficiently tentative not to stand up here and dogmatically assert that that is the case. I can express my confidence that the system is not doing that, but you can be sure that I will go away and check just the same, because of your remarks, and get back to you with the right answer for you.

Ms Tucker raised the point, as Ms Dundas did, that there are incremental steps in what information is gathered, stored and used and that we need to be very careful with those steps to justify them. Members seem to be saying on this occasion, "Yes, they are justified."

I point out, as I think members understand, that the Road Transport Authority is bound by the Privacy Act. I am confident that the bill, as I expect to have it amended, balances correctly tighter identity fraud controls with proper concern for people's privacy and full compliance with privacy principles.

Clauses 33C and 33D of the bill clearly specify the lawful uses and limited lawful disclosures that can be made of a stored image. Detailed protocols have been prepared stating how these uses and disclosures will operate.

The protocols, which also detail the collection, storage and security controls for the stored images, have been submitted to the Privacy Commissioner. That office does not formally approve such protocols but has provided useful policy advice, and the protocols incorporate that advice. I have circulated a copy of the protocols to members for their information. They will be complemented by the robust security procedures and data integrity measures in the rego.act computer system.

In addition, the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs has made some comments on the bill. In its view, the bill reveals commendable concern for privacy issues, although the provisions are not as clear as perhaps they should be. We respect that view of the committee, and I will be moving government amendments to fully address the points raised by the committee and to improve the clarity of the bill.

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