Page 2949 - Week 07 - Thursday, 30 June 2011

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Mr Speaker, clause 6 proposes to include a note to state that where the Supreme Court has set aside an order for preventative detention, then it ceases to have effect. This amendment underlines the requirement that a person is immediately released from preventative detention where no lawful basis exists for ongoing detention. This amendment will recognise section 18 of the Human Rights Act, which provides for the right to liberty and security of the person.

Clause 7 proposes to correct an uncertainty with section 78, which relates to special police powers. The uncertainty surrounds the information that a police officer is required to provide when exercising a power pursuant to section 83. This amendment will correct this uncertainty.

Clause 8 proposes to amend section 78 to provide that a written statement, or the reasons why the police cannot provide the statement, to require the statement or reasons, be provided within a reasonable time.

In conclusion I will reiterate the government’s position that the continuation of these laws is necessary. It will ensure that the ACT does not become an attractive base for terrorist activity due to the absence of a counter-terrorism legislative regime and because the purpose of the Terrorism Act remains current.

Terrorism continues to pose a real and significant threat to residents of Australia and the territory. The government will not shirk from its responsibility to protect our residents; but it will always be mindful that this protection must not unreasonably impede or infringe on our human rights.

Mr Speaker, when Mr Stanhope presented the bill to this place in 2006, he quoted Franklin D Roosevelt’s famous inaugural address at the height of the Great Depression. His words “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” were relevant in 1933, in 2006, and also today.

Mr Stanhope quoted these words to demonstrate that the fear that we face in the current terrorism climate should not be exploited. The government strove to ensure that our rights, our families and our democratic systems were protected from the threat of terrorism. This was to be achieved without inciting fear and giving up our democratic freedoms and human rights.

The ACT achieved this goal. Our counter-terrorism law achieves the balance of appropriate powers to address any terrorist activity, without trampling on our human rights obligations.

I commend the bill to continue this act to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne) adjourned to the next sitting.

Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Amendment Bill 2011

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

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