Page 3333 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 20 September 2005
offence committed, we would want that officer to be demonstrating their ID. Either they demonstrate that ID by wearing a card on their shirt or they pull out an ID card and say, “I am sorry, sir, but I have just found you dumping rubbish here and I now seek to issue a fine. Here is my ID, which shows my name and indicates that I am an authorised person.”
It should not be simply left to the person who has committed an offence to request to see ID. An officer of any branch of government who is taking action against a person must be compelled to demonstrate exactly who they are. That means that they must be displaying their ID. The minister says that we have not bothered to read this legislation, but we have all read it. We actually read it in bed last night, Mr Speaker. This legislation does not lay down a requirement for an officer to be wearing an ID card at all times. That is what we are seeking to achieve and I would ask Dr Foskey to support us in this venture to make sure that these officers are required to wear such ID at all times, not just when they are issuing a fine for an offence.
There have been examples of officers not wearing ID when they have been carrying out actions. I have spoken about a health inspector who inspected a cafe in Hughes in March this year and talked to a shopkeeper about grease traps in the area behind his shop. He was not wearing ID and the shopkeeper said, “Who are you? Could I see your ID?” The response was, “I am not going to show it to you.” I have written to the minister about that. He probably remembers the case.
Mr Hargreaves: No, you didn’t.
MR PRATT: I did.
MR SPEAKER: Order! Direct your comments through me, Mr Pratt.
MR PRATT: I have written to the minister about that case, indicating that there is an anomaly. That is why we seek to have health inspectors, rangers and other people taking action to demonstrate at all times that they have ID. Therefore, in the case of rangers taking action for littering, we have tabled this amendment, which seeks to plug that gap in this legislation. It is not a draconian measure, as the minister has said. It is not a draconian measure at all on our part to ask that officers wear ID and have it 100 per cent on display at all times when they are on duty. It is simply common sense. It is simply good practice. It is meeting professional standards. That is what we are seeking. Therefore, I commend the amendment, which is seeking to plug a hole in a piece of legislation which is good but which needs to have this hole plugged to make it that much more professional.
MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (11.19): Firstly, if Mr Pratt wrote to me about grease traps and the behaviour of health inspectors, he has further displayed his ignorance because a quick look at the administrative orders will reveal that I am not the Minister for Health. I have never been the Minister for Health. I have never been responsible for health surveillance. I have never been anything like that. He really ought to be careful about saying things in the chamber that are blatantly not true because he could come a real cropper.