Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 14 Hansard (Tuesday, 28 November 2017) . . Page.. 5168 ..
that the review must be conducted, that a minister must present the report and the review to the Legislative Assembly, and that the report must be delivered within a stated deadline. This is a welcome amendment. It does not address directly the concerns raised by the profession but it does provide us as an Assembly with the guaranteed ability to make sure these powers are not misused. This is an important safeguard, and one that we support.
But if you take the time to read the bar and the Law Society’s submission you will note that their concerns were grave and strident. This is one that has taken some consideration by my. I went as far as having an amendment drafted. On balance, and given the serious nature of the violence currently unfolding in our suburbs, we will be supporting the bill and the amendments. But we will be looking very closely at the review. I put the Attorney-General on notice that delaying the review or not providing a full review will be seen as unacceptable and, in a sense, will result in an automatic response from the opposition to move amendments to strike out some of these clauses. I do not want to be in that position.
I do note the irony that these laws—and I hope that the police minister and the Greens member listen to what I am saying here—have had serious concerns raised about them by the legal profession, about the extent of police powers and what that means in terms of legal and civil liberties. These are laws that the government, the Labor Party and the Greens together, are putting through this place, and they raise our concerns. Tomorrow we will be debating laws that have been extensively worked through with the Human Rights Commissioner and that she has said are consistent with the Human Rights Act, but it appears at this stage that they will not get support. There is an odd contradiction that in choosing to support laws—and there is no silver bullet—the government and the Greens are cherry-picking and seem to be using advice from some sections but ignoring advice from others at their will. I do not think it is helpful.
On balance, in assessing the bill there are a variety of factors that must be considered, and our primary responsibility is to keep our community safe. We must give our police force the powers to do that. Yes, they must be balanced against the protection of rights for citizens. But in this case, although it was a fine line, we have come down on the side of supporting these new police powers, with the note that I have provided that we will be expecting a full and timely review provided by the minister.
This has been a difficult issue in our community. The Canberra Liberals have indicated before in this place that we will support reasonable measures that are put forward to deal with the scourge of bikie violence in our suburbs. We will deal with these matters seriously, as I hope members of the government and the Greens will tomorrow when we are looking at further steps, additional steps, as part of a suite of measures that can become available to our police.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety, Minister for Corrections and Minister for Mental Health) (5.44): The ACT Greens will be supporting this bill this evening. The Greens believe that this bill will assist police to disrupt outlaw motorcycle gang activity in Canberra and, in particular, will assist police with their