Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 14 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 November 2017) . . Page.. 5275 ..
This government has recently delivered a suite of measures to directly respond to concerns about organised crime. As part of this package we have strengthened our laws which deal with shootings to provide a stronger penalty for the shooting of buildings, irrespective of whether the shooter knows a person is inside, and we have enhanced police powers to establish a crime scene and preserve evidence.
This new power is particularly relevant to situations where criminal gangs might take efforts to destroy evidence even when they are victims of crime. These new laws have built on a strong existing framework. This government strengthened the non-association and place restrictions legislation by adding more offences that are commonly associated with organised crime, including serious firearm offences.
A NAPRO is a sentencing option for courts to help support rehabilitation and to prevent further commission of offences by requiring that a person stay away from specified places and specified people. The application to organised crime is clear and, unlike criminal organisation control laws, NAPROs are used successfully around Australia, including here in the ACT.
In addition to law reform, we have provided resources to Taskforce Nemesis specifically to target organised crime in the territory. Their work is showing great results. Through joint law enforcement and prosecution efforts the territory seized a significant quantity of criminal assets and cash. In 2016-17 tainted interests in six residential properties were forfeited to the territory, with a total value of $1.1 million. Some $720,000 in cash, vehicles and other property were also forfeited. A further $1.8 million of real estate, cash, vehicles and other property were restrained.
The criminal cases put together by Taskforce Nemesis and the assets seized by the DPP show that our approach is effective and that we can take strong action against crime in a human rights jurisdiction. It is important to remember that a key part of having a safe community is having a community whose rights are protected along with their physical safety. That is why it is essential that the criminal laws we consider meet two fundamental criteria: they are compatible with human rights and they are effective to achieve their purpose.
Again I commend Mr Hanson and the Canberra Liberals’ efforts to prioritise human rights in their criminal law proposals, and I will continue to welcome their engagement on that basis. However, the evidence is clear on this bill that it will not be effective. On that basis the government cannot support this bill.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (4.32): The Greens have looked very closely at this legislation and have formed a view that on balance we do not believe these laws will be effective. Instead, we believe the recent measures developed by the government to combat outlaw bicycle gangs, or OMCG, activity will be more effective and are a better basis to proceed on in seeking to tackle the challenging issue of criminal gangs.
The bill Mr Hanson has brought forward seeks to introduce a criminal organisation control regime in the ACT based on existing legislation in New South Wales. I note,