Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Further Safeguards For Defence Bill

Joint News Release

Attorney-General
Minister For Defence

The Hon. Daryl Williams AM QC MP

The Hon. John Moore MP
23 August 2000 MIN229/00

Further Safeguards For Defence Bill

Cabinet yesterday considered the report of the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Reference Committee into the Defence Legislation Amendment (Aid to Civilian Authorities) Bill. The Committee reported last Wednesday.

The Government has agreed to address the Committee's concerns about some aspects of the Bill by adopting all of the Committee's recommendations. A number of these recommendations will require Government amendments to the Bill. The Government will move these amendments in the Senate when the Bill is debated next week.

State, Territory and Commonwealth Governments have always had the power to request call out of the Defence Force in Australia in rare situations where police need help to deal with an extreme emergency, such as a terrorist incident. The public would expect no less.

The Bill does not change the circumstances under which the Defence Force can be called out on Australian soil to aid police. Contrary to claims by some commentators, the Bill in no way permits the Defence Force to be used against peaceful protests, nor does it permit force to be used which in the circumstances is unreasonable.

However, there is currently no legislation outlining the process governing call out by the Commonwealth to protect its own interests. Existing legislation governing call out at the request of a State or Territory to protect that State or Territory from civil unrest or domestic violence is antiquated and unworkable.

The Bill will for the first time set out the Commonwealth's call out process in legislation. It will clarify the State and Territory process and include significant safeguards and accountability requirements on the exercise of a range of powers under the Bill.

The Senate Committee recommended further safeguards and accountability measures to which the Government has agreed.

The Committee recommended that the legislation should be reviewed thoroughly once it has been in operation for some time. In response, the Government has agreed to give an undertaking that a parliamentary committee will review the legislation within 6 months of any call out of the Defence Force or if there is no call out, within three years of the commencement of the legislation. The parliamentary committee will have the ability to take submissions from the public, State and Territory governments and their agencies and the Defence Force.

Cabinet also agreed to enhance parliamentary scrutiny of any incident of call out. Under the original Bill, if Parliament was not sitting some time may have elapsed before a report was provided to Parliament on the use of the Defence Force. In recognition of the proper role of Parliament, the Government will now seek an amendment to ensure that Parliament is informed of the use of the Defence Force within seven days, irrespective of the sitting calendar.

The Government will extend the prohibition on the use of the Reserves in relation to an industrial dispute in any circumstances under the Bill. Currently, use of the Reserves in connection with an industrial dispute is prohibited only when the troops are called out at the request of a State.

The Government will also amend the Bill to ensure that the Commonwealth notifies the State or Territory concerned when it has called out the Defence Force.

Finally, the Government will move an amendment that the authorisation for a deliberate assault must be made by the Prime Minister, the Minister for Defence or the Attorney-General, and not delegated to another Minister. The Government considers that this accords with the key role of these Ministers in the original decision to call out the Defence Force.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tax Working Group’s Road Map

Trying to analyse the interim report on the Tax Working Group (TWG) is like trying to review an entire All Blacks game, but at the half- time mark.

With so much still to be finalised, Sir Michael Cullen and his colleagues are going to need all the All Blacks’ fabled finishing skills to get a coherent, fiscally neutral package together by the February 2019 deadline. More>>

 

Meth Testing Report: Housing NZ "To Right Wrong"

Phil Twyford “Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless.” More>>

ALSO:

No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity Bill: Making History For Women’s Pay

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House today, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim , using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. More>>

ALSO:

Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote… Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.” More>>

ALSO:

Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels