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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 February 2018) . . Page.. 378 ..

ACT Policing’s ability to target organised crime and preserve evidence of serious crimes in a timely manner. The act also established a new offence of drive-by shooting in the ACT.

The government’s legislative program demonstrates its strong commitment to establish effective tools for law enforcement agencies to target and disrupt serious and organised crime. The bill allows ACT Policing to take a different approach to investigative crime to promote the safety and vitality of our city. The fortification removal scheme established by this bill is balanced and proportionate. It ensures the safety of police officers who execute searches across the ACT and reduces the likelihood that organised criminals can prevent or delay access to their property by police to seize key evidence of a crime.

I look forward to continuing to actively work with ACT Policing to address serious and organised crime in our territory. This government is committed to ensuring that our police have the best tools available to protect our community, and I commend the bill to the Assembly.

MR RAMSAY (Ginninderra—Attorney-General, Minister for Regulatory Services, Minister for the Arts and Community Events and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (11.47), in reply: Firstly I thank the members across the chamber and my Greens colleague as well for their support of this bill. It is an important bill for us to be able to work on in a unified manner. I also thank the scrutiny committee for its comments, and arising from that I table a revised explanatory memorandum in relation to the bill.

The Crimes (Fortification Removal) Amendment Bill 2017 is just one of many measures this government is taking to combat serious and organised crime in the ACT. Last year we introduced new crime scene powers and tougher penalties for drive-by shootings. We have supported and will continue to support Taskforce Nemesis in ACT Policing. In the budget review we provided $970,000 to the Director of Public Prosecutions to support the confiscation of criminal assets. The government’s law reform agenda in response to criminal gangs will continue to meet two criteria: it will be effective and it will be compliant with human rights.

Today’s bill provides ACT Policing with a prevention tool. Experience in other jurisdictions has shown that fortified premises can be used by gangs to frustrate police action. A reinforced door and strong bars on a gate can slow the execution of a search warrant and make it difficult for police to respond to emergencies. Victoria already has legislation in place for police to get an order to remove fortifications in these circumstances. This bill will support ACT Policing to investigate crime.

The Chief Police Officer will be able to apply to the court for an order to have fortifications on premises removed. The Magistrates Court has to find a series of facts about premises to make an order, including that the premises are connected to crime. These orders can only apply in relation to offences punishable by imprisonment for five years or longer. So just showing that any crime is occurring at a place is not enough.

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