Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 10 April 2008) . . Page.. 1265 ..
treated with sensitivity and are empowered to have control over the processes that they are subject to. These include the ability of a volunteer to elect not to have an independent person present when they are undergoing their forensic procedure and also to elect not to have the procedure video recorded. Although it is important to have an independent person present to verify that a procedure has been conducted appropriately, and that is why it still remains as the default position, this requirement should still be sensitive to the wishes of a victim of crime. For certain victims, such as victims of sexual assault, it would be insensitive to deny the person an ability to choose whether a stranger is allowed to be present during the procedure or to choose whether the invasiveness of the procedure is increased by having it videotaped.
The bill also provides that, when a person undergoes an intimate forensic procedure or a non-intimate procedure that requires touching of the person or the removal of their clothing, other than outer wear such as coats or shoes, a person of the same sex carry out the procedure. These amendments have been made to ensure the sensitive treatment of those undergoing a forensic procedure, in particular volunteers and victims of crime.
The bill also amends provisions relating to the treatment of transgender and intersex persons when undergoing a forensic procedure. The new amendments will enable a transgender or intersex person to elect the gender with which they identify so that the gender of the person who is allowed to carry out or help in the carrying out of the forensic procedure can be controlled by the transgender or intersex person.
The bill has been drafted with great sensitivity to human rights and victims’ rights, but it also provides our police with more effective tools to assist in the fight against crime in the ACT and on a national basis. I commend the bill and regulations to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak) adjourned to the next sitting.
Firearms 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) (10.51): I move:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
The bill marks a major step in the reform of the Firearms Act 1996 with the implementation of resolutions contained in the national firearms trafficking policy agreement as they relate to the ACT. This bill builds on the extensive work already done following the Port Arthur massacre in 1996 and the Monash University shooting in 2002. These amendments will strengthen national and local firearms control by addressing the illegal trade in firearms, increasing penalties for firearms offences and