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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 16 November 2010) . . Page.. 5397 ..

The government was very conscious of the need for the defence to be broad enough to protect the targeted groups of people whilst excluding those who might seek to exploit it improperly. During the drafting process, officers in my department consulted with officers from ACT Policing, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Legal Aid Office of the ACT. This has produced a defence that actually covers the situation that had been highlighted as a concern without providing “loopholes” to those who may seek to misuse it.

Further, in considering the need for this defence, my department looked carefully at whether existing powers of seizure were sufficient to address the area of concern. While legal powers of seizure also create an implied power to possess a seized item, such powers are not available in all the circumstances that needed to be addressed by this defence. Generally speaking, powers of seizure are restricted to those engaged in law enforcement, such as police officers. This defence will operate more widely in the sense that it will allow prohibited items to be handled beyond the original seizure in appropriate circumstances.

Before I conclude, I would like to reiterate the importance of the forthcoming Australian National Victim Image Library and the ACT’s participation in its operation. The need for national and international collaboration in online child exploitation investigations has been apparent for some time now. The Australian National Victim Image Library will ensure that all Australian jurisdictions, including the ACT, have an improved ability to identify and rescue child victims of abuse and to identify offenders. The new lawful possession offence will ensure that all those involved from an ACT perspective in this project will be able to do so, confident that they are protected by the law.

I thank members for their support of the bill, and I commend it to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Crimes (Child Sex Offenders) Amendment Bill 2010

Debate resumed from 28 October 2010, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.33): The opposition will support this very important bill, and we will support it notwithstanding this Attorney-General’s continuing mistreatment of the ACT Assembly’s conventions in relation to the bringing on of bills that have been only recently tabled. He introduced this bill only on 28 October—that is, on the last day of the last sitting period. Who knows how long he had to

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