Thursday 12 November 2015
Hansard of the Legislative Council


AMENDMENT BILL 2015 (No. 52)



Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - Mr President, it is unfortunate that this legislation is necessary but necessary it is, and few Tasmanians would disagree.

We have to make certain that all those who work with vulnerable people are trustworthy.  We have to make certain that the crimes of the past, which we have been hearing about through various inquiries at the recent royal commission, never recur, as much as we possibly can.

This bill is intended to deal with a national problem over many years which has had extensive publicity because of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and anything that will reduce these terrible events is to be lauded.  It is interesting, as detailed in the second reading speech, that proposals already underway in the preparation of this bill align with the recommendations of the royal commission.  It shows the bill is on the right track.  It has my total support.

One query I have, and the Leader might highlight this in her response or perhaps in the Committee stage, is in section 52B(8) -

A warrant has effect for the period of one month after the day on which it is granted.

A warrant is a serious infringement of a person's right to enjoyment at their place of residence or business.  I wonder if that warrant could not be activated more expeditiously than leaving it 'live' for a one-month period. 

A minor concern - I recently had to acquire my own card, application, to work with the Tornadoes basketball team because we deal with a lot of younger girls and I found that an interesting process.  I did not think it drilled down as deeply as it might have but I suppose, being a Legislative Councillor, there might be some acceptance that, okay, I have had to pass a stringent test anyway to be in here, not have a police charge against me and those sorts of things - not be a bankrupt, et cetera - but I found it was quite an easy process to go through and perhaps this tightening up may weed out others who might want to use the process for nefarious purposes. 

I totally support the legislation.