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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 21 March 2017) . . Page.. 759 ..

The ACT government does not support the introduction of anti-consorting laws at this time. Any future consideration of consorting laws would need to be informed by strong evidence establishing the requirement for and effectiveness of such laws. Laws of this nature would also need to allay unresolved government and community concerns about conflict with human rights and criminal law principles. We have seen the challenges in implementing these laws in other jurisdictions.

The government will continue to work with ACT Policing to ensure that our police have the necessary tools at their disposal to effectively deal with serious and organised crime entities. I have asked the ACT Chief Police Officer to consider how existing mechanisms under the law can be used to their fullest effect.

The government and ACT Policing are exploring the practicalities of introducing fortification removal laws. The ACT does not currently have laws which prohibit the establishment of fortifications or require them to be removed. Fortifications are structures designed to stop or hinder uninvited entry to premises. Fortifications may provide OMCGs with time to vacate premises, delay police entry and frustrate the execution of search warrants through the destruction of evidence. Laws allowing police to apply for an order which requires fortifications to be removed or modified may provide an additional tool to assist police to effectively target serious and organised crime.

I am also able to inform the Assembly that I have asked my directorate to work with ACT Policing and Access Canberra to discuss options for the use of targeted road safety compliance measures to ensure the full suite of regulatory measures are used to address and deter OMCG-related activity. Where interstate OMCG members visit the ACT, we are within our rights to be certain that their vehicles meet all of our local roadworthiness requirements, and I have written to the Chief Police Officer to explore progressing this important collaboration across government.

I agree that visits to the ACT from interstate OMCGs in breach of a consorting warning in their own jurisdiction are cause for concern. I know ACT Policing is working closely with New South Wales, the national anti-gangs squad and others to monitor and disrupt these activities. This issue will continue to be considered by ACT Policing and the Justice and Community Safety Directorate.

We know that the growth in outlaw motorcycle gang activities, which is happening right across Australia, requires a nationally concerted effort. This is why I was pleased to learn that through the nationally joined-up approach to OMCGs we have seen the arrest of 1,000 offenders since the establishment of the national anti-gang squad in 2013. I can assure the Assembly that this government takes the issue of OMCGs very seriously. As such, we will continue to make considered decisions based on the evidence as to what is the most effective and just way to respond to this criminal activity.

Australia faces national security challenges that continue to evolve as well. The ACT government works closely with commonwealth and state and territory counterparts to ensure ACT Policing has the powers and resources it needs to protect

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