Speeches

A full record of Mark's Speeches are available at www.parliament.qld.gov.au

COUNTER-TERRORISM AND OTHER LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL

September 05, 2017

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all members who made a contribution to the debate on the Counter-Terrorism and Other Legislation Amendment Bill. The reality and significance of the threat terrorism poses and the primacy of community safety has been clearly highlighted during the debate. I am encouraged by the support shown for the bill. While all members in this House are aware that no government can ever eliminate all the risks posed by persons intent on causing harm, this bill provides our police with the necessary legislative tools to enhance their capabilities to mitigate or minimise the risk to the community. I would like to particularly address some of the issues raised by members during the debate. 

Some members have raised the issue of the time a person may be held in custody under a preventative detention order. The Terrorism (Preventative Detention) Act is national, uniform legislation. All of the state jurisdictions have a time frame of 14 days in relation to preventative detention orders. That is the consistent and national approach. I note that some members of this House have stated that they will always take advice from law enforcement agencies such as the Queensland Police Service on matters of terrorism and counterterrorism. As the police minister, so do I. Any change in the number of days associated with the maximum period of preventative detention orders is most appropriately progressed in conjunction with other state jurisdictions to ensure that a uniform approach to terrorism is undertaken and to facilitate interjurisdictional cooperation in these investigations. 

Some members have also raised the issue of changes to parole and bail laws in the context of terrorism offences. You may be aware that Queensland has entered into the COAG agreement in relation to these changes; however, more work is being done in this area and we will come back to COAG after appropriate and measured consideration has been made. In addition, I have already issued ministerial guidelines to the Queensland Parole Board that, when granting parole, the Parole Board Queensland must give consideration to issues of national security. This government is committed to ensuring nationally consistent legislation on counterterrorism matters to ensure that there are no safe havens for terrorism and to facilitate interagency investigative cooperation. 

Some members have also raised the issue of safeguards. I can assure those members that this bill contains robust safeguards. For example, the bill contains extensive reporting obligations in relation to the exercise of a number of new powers. Also, the bill preserves the current role of the Public Interest Monitor under chapter 13 of the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 in relation to the new tracking device powers. Those, along with a number of other safeguards in the bill, ensure that the bill strikes the right balance between keeping the community safe and preserving the rights and liberties of individuals. 

I would again like to thank all members for their contribution to the debate. I also acknowledge the hard work of all members of the Queensland Police Service, particularly those from the legislation branch who have worked very hard on the development of this bill, and those members of our

Queensland Police Service who are particularly dedicated to responding to the risk and threat of counterterrorism. All members of our Police Service as well as other emergency services agencies and Corrective Services work very hard every day to keep Queenslanders safe, and this legislation will support them in that good work. 

This bill is the third tranche of the Palaszczuk government’s strong reform of Queensland’s counterterrorism and emergency management powers. Our government is unwavering in its commitment to ensuring that Queensland is a safe place to live, work and holiday. I commend the bill to the House.