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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 17 September 2015) . . Page.. 3191 ..

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Capital Metro) (12.19), in reply: I would like to thank members for their in-principle support of this bill. Before I proceed to make my comments, I present the following paper:

Revised explanatory statement to the bill.

This bill, as members have indicated, addresses a number of matters raised during national and indeed international discussions, as well as issues raised by ACT Policing, when it comes to the operation of child sex offender law here in the ACT, with a specific focus on the operation of administration of the child sex offender register. These amendments have been developed in the context of a very close and ongoing consultation between the government and key stakeholders, including ACT Policing, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Human Rights Commission and the Ombudsman.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank those organisations and individuals for the very valuable input they have provided in what is a very complex piece of policy and a very lengthy legislative development process. Their contributions have ensured that the reforms strike an appropriate balance between the proposed police powers, the rights and safety of children and the community, and the rights of registered offenders, and that they operate within the context of the territory’s human rights law.

I provided members with a detailed overview of the amendments when I introduced this bill, so today I will instead focus on the introduction of entry and search power provisions and speak of some of the human rights issues that have been engaged by these reforms. As I have previously outlined, the amendments proposed by this bill fall into six broad categories which are amendments to introduce entry and search powers, including access to encrypted information on an electronic device in relation to registered offenders; amendments to provide a power for the Chief Police Officer to apply for the registration of a certain previous offender; amendments to provide a power for the Chief Police Officer to apply to remove an offender from the register in limited circumstances; amendments to allow a young offender to apply to a sentencing court to not be registered; amendments to provide powers for the Chief Police Officer to issue public notices in limited circumstances; and general amendments to streamline administration of the register.

In practical terms, these amendments taken as a whole introduce a number of new powers for police that will assist to reduce the likelihood of reoffending and also to facilitate the investigation and prosecution of any future offences that registered offenders may commit. In this way, the introduction of these powers will support the purposes of the scheme which are outlined in section 6 of the Crimes (Child Sex Offenders) Act 2005.

One of the most important reforms in this bill is the introduction of entry and search powers in relation to registered offenders, which can include access to encrypted information on an electronic device. This amendment will allow a senior officer of the rank of sergeant or higher to apply to the Magistrates Court for a warrant for the

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