Wednesday 23 September 2015
Hansard of the Legislative Council




Mr FINCH (Rosevears)- Mr President, the questions and concerns raised for me have already been canvassed by other members and put to the Leader.  There is no need for me to reiterate those.

In our briefing we had the signal that protocols will be developed after we pass the legislation.  That is interesting and you noticed it, member for Windermere.  It is not a normal process or, on the surface, a desirable process to not have, as legislators, all the information available about what is going occur with the legislation when you pass judgment on it. 

The order is okay, we pass the legislation.  Protocols are going to be put in place.  What protocols?  What needs to be developed?  What is not available?  Why have the COAG states, already under this regime, not been emulated by us in Tasmania so we can again fall into line with protocols developed on the mainland?  Surely, with those incidents already in New South Wales and Victoria, they would know what works, what it covers and what it does not, and what needs to be changed.  That was an alarm bell for me.  We might be moving hastily but we have the assurance from our briefers there is a time line on this.  It is December.  We need to move this process along to capture the next 10 years.  I am okay with that but we need to go down to tin tacks and look at this process, the PDOs for Tasmania.  It is necessary to have the PDOs in the police armoury to deal with suspected or possible terrorist attacks. 

Although the risk of a terrorist attack may not be as great in Tasmania as in the mainland states, a terrorist could, on the other hand, plan an attack in Tasmania to demonstrate what could be done.  When we heightened our security with our ever‑popular, very close to the operation, door that we had from the car park - shock, horror, we had to walk 100 metres to travel from our car park to get into the building.  I appreciated the convenience of that, particularly when you are loaded up with papers and gear.  However, on reflection, somebody could do an attack, as we have seen at the parliament in Canada.  They could say, 'Where is a soft target, who is relaxed about this and not taking the threat seriously?  Good old Tasmania.  They are laid-back down there.  We could do all that.  Come in with a member who opens the door and away you go, wreak havoc.'  I was happy to accept that limitation. 

On the other side of the coin, you do not want to give succour to the threats and intimidation, and change your lifestyle to suit that threat.  In this day and age, there is something a little more serious than we have had to deal with in the past in our Australian lifestyle. 

That extension of the current sunset clause, 31 December, is not unreasonable.  Daesh is unlikely to be defeated in the near future.

The other concern I had was about the record of an application for a PDO.  It is necessary to have that provision, that the senior police officer make a record of what occurs with that application immediately after the application is made, whether it is granted or refused.  I am sure that is what you are talking about - when you are talking about protocols - all those things that need to be put into place, although with the map we were given, it laid out the process that is going to be followed, and the limitations that surround using a PDO.

Because of the situation we live in - in the world today - Tasmania has to be cognisant of those pressures, and the threats we may be under from terrorism because of that soft target issue.  That is all I would like to contribute.  I support the legislation.