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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 10 April 2008) . . Page.. 1262 ..

outcome for the grievances of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and true reconciliation. The establishment of an Indigenous elected body is a positive and necessary step in achieving these ambitions. Indigenous people in the ACT will again have a voice. It will be respected and it will be heard.

I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Seselja) adjourned to the next sitting.

Crimes (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill 2008

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.39): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I have pleasure in introducing the Crimes (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill 2008. The bill will amend the Crimes (Forensic Procedures) Act 2000, which was enacted as part of a national model bill endorsing national protocols for the collection and storage of forensic materials as well as the exchange of DNA information between participating jurisdictions.

Since the inception of the national criminal investigation DNA database—the NCIDD, as it is known—in 2002, there has been a national drive to bring all jurisdictions to a common understanding that enables a national exchange system for DNA profiles. The national scheme represents a new age for crime fighting, where criminals are no longer able to hide behind state and territory borders to evade the criminal justice system.

On 28 June last year, all Australian jurisdictions either signed or agreed to sign a national agreement for the sharing of DNA information. On 8 August last year, the agreement was formally finalised, with all jurisdictions officially coming on board. Three weeks later, on 28 August 2007, the ACT became the first jurisdiction to successfully undergo matching with all other jurisdictions in Australia. The ACT can be proud of its achievement in obtaining this outcome and should also be proud of its steadfast commitment to supporting a new era of criminal investigation that will better protect the Australian community, and the Canberra community, from criminal activity.

Although the foundations have now been laid for the exchange of DNA information between jurisdictions, there is more work to be done in ensuring that we have an effective and accountable system of exchange. This is why I am introducing to the Assembly today the Crimes (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill.

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