Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 28 March 2017) . . Page.. 1113 ..
It is strange that the Labor Party and the Greens argue that we cannot interfere with the Human Rights Act and the statement that everyone has the freedom to associate. That is being argued as an absolute: that is an absolute human right; we cannot be interfering with that. That is strange when we are talking about chief police officers and others calling for legislation that would prevent identified members of outlaw motorcycle gangs from associating. Today that absolute is being thrown out. The government is arguing for non-association orders. Its justification is different—in this case it is saying it is for people who have been convicted of an offence rather than people who have been identified as part of a proscribed organisation—but the principle remains the same.
I support these changes; I think these changes are good. But from now on, when we are having a debate about having similar laws to New South Wales, responding to the call of those on the front line of community policing, the Chief Police Officer and her front-line officers who are out there putting their lives at risk every single day—when we listen to those calls, we should heed them. I do not want to hear a response from the Greens, if they are supporting this legislation today, or from the Labor Party, saying that we cannot possibly go near there because that would be in breach of our Human Rights Act, when today the Attorney-General is going to be arguing for exactly that.
If the Greens are going to be supporting this legislation today being presented by the government—I hope that they do—let us put away this whole argument that we have been hearing from the Labor Party and the Greens that we cannot possibly introduce non-association orders. We are doing it today, and we have done it in this place dozens of times. Our statute books—I invite you to read the transcript and the answers to questions on notice from annual reports hearings—include many examples of where that is the case.
I welcome this legislation today. I again thank the Attorney-General and his office for providing my office and me with a briefing. This is good legislation; this is based on good evidence and, clearly, calls from people on the front line to bring in good measures to our statute books to keep the community safe. These are the sorts of laws that can be expanded in future to make sure that we are doing everything that we can do to target those members of organised crime gangs who would do us harm.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (11.05): The Greens are happy to support most of the provisions of this Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill 2016. We agree that, for the most part, they are reasonable amendments that will improve criminal justice in the ACT. However, we do not support the proposed amendments regarding non-association and place restriction orders. We have previously raised concerns about the expansion of the NAPRO system. This bill proposes further expansions without addressing any of the issues we have previously raised. I will talk further about that in a moment.
We agree with the amendments relating to entry and search warrants relating to registrable child sex offenders. It is important that police can seek an immediate entry