Page 4228 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 24 October 2017

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Crime—anti-consorting laws

MR HANSON: My question is for the Attorney-General and it follows the latest bikie-related violence in Canberra. Attorney-General, the latest incident allegedly involved a home invasion, a person shot twice, and the fire-bombing of two cars. One of the bullets fired went through a window into a home where there were two children present. The Chief Police Officer has stated that she would prefer to have anti-consorting laws to prevent this violence, but it was “off the table”. Attorney-General, why are these laws off the table for this government following such an extended period of violence?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Mr Hanson for his question and the invitation to explain why it is that the government is looking at the areas of reform that we are doing. Yes, certainly, the government takes OMCG violence extremely seriously. I certainly support the minister for police and the Chief Police Officer in their ongoing responses to the latest incident. The government is continuing to work to make sure that this community is and remains safe.

In terms of the law reform, what this government will do is that it will work to make sure that our reforms are evidence based and not incident based. That is one of the ways that you ensure that you have good, sound policy for the work that is going ahead. That is why, in my particular portfolio area of responsibility, I will be working with the new drive-by shooting offence, better powers to investigate crime scenes and also anti-fortification laws.

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: You may want to listen to the answer, given that you asked the question.

MR RAMSAY: In terms of the particular laws that Mr Hanson is suggesting—the anti-consorting laws—I note that Mr Hanson’s exposure draft is actually not an anti-consorting law. It is a criminal organisation control order, which is a very different model. It is good for Mr Hanson, as the shadow attorney-general, to understand the difference between anti-consorting and criminal organisation control orders. That would also help inform good policy response. But the best way to evaluate the way that we will head forward is to look at the evidence for it.

One of the key bits of evidence is: will this law work? When the New South Wales Ombudsman was reviewing the laws that Mr Hanson is suggesting that we have, the New South Wales Ombudsman said, “The act does not provide police with a viable mechanism to tackle criminal organisations and is unlikely ever to be able to be used effectively.” The Ombudsman make one recommendation: that the law be rejected. (Time expired.)

MR HANSON: Attorney-General, how many OMCG-related incidents have occurred in our suburbs in the 18 months since the previous Labor government abandoned anti-consorting laws?

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