Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 9 May 2017
Parliamentary Record 5
Debates for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2018; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020
pp 1623 to 1686
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES Tuesday 9 May 2017 1624 The merger of CrimTrac with the Australian Crime Commission improves the efficiency of information sharing by creating the ACIC, which is a one-stop shop for criminal intelligence and investigation in Australia. The enhanced coordination that flows from a combined agency will produce synergies and economies of scale that will help prevent crime before it happens and increase investigatory capabilities available to the states and territories. The desirability of increased cooperation amongst law enforcement and criminal intelligence agencies has been consistently demonstrated, and such cooporation has been an important factor in preventing terrorist attacks, infiltrating domestic criminal organisations and solving complex crimes. The role of the ACIC in discovering, investigating and helping end criminal drug enterprises has never been so important in the Territory. The introduction of large-scale manufacturing and distribution of ice in our back yard is causing an epidemic in crime that is rippling through our community and affecting youths and adults, rich and poor. Ice trafficking and the resulting use, addiction and related crime has drastically increased in the Territory. Law enforcement and government are struggling to keep their heads above the wave of the crime that is trailing in their wake. Treatment providers such as Banyan House have reported increases in admissions for treatment of ice abuse in the order of over 150% in the last two years. In addition our youth are taking ice in record numbers and, fuelled by ice abuse and addiction, are committing property crimes that are more brazen and on a scale that has reached every part of our community across the Territory. We have seen ram-raids and organised crime sprees, which have become commonplace. Even churches and schools have not been exempt from these crimes. In February at least three schools and two churches were broken into in the space of three days. The following week a vehicle used by the Sisters of Charity of St Anne to collect children from daycare was stolen. There is a common thread to most of these crimes and they have been committed by persons, including youth, who are on ice and need to commit crime to fund their addiction. Whilst the NT Police do a fantastic job in combating the trafficking and distribution of illegal drugs, which includes ice, they can always make use of additional information and resources. The newly formed ACIC is an important resource of law enforcement in Australia and will help Territory police do their job more efficiently and effectively. A more efficient ACIC will lead to better, more timely intelligence being supplied to Territory police and should result in less drugs on our streets, fewer organised crime organisations operating in the Territory and eventually less crime, addiction and misery. This bill is important in that it recognises the merger of CrimTrac and the Australian Crime Commission, and makes the administration arrangements necessary to facilitate the utilisation of the powerful resources that the new Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission will provide for Territory law enforcement. These resources will assist in the fight against organised crime, ice and other dangerous drugs. I urge the Labor government to utilise the information and assistance available through this new one-stop shop for criminal intelligence to address the increasing crime in the Territory and secure the safety of our families, children and community. Madam Speaker, I commend the bill to the House. Ms NELSON (Katherine): Madam Speaker, I will speak briefly to the proposed changes to legislation which, although unlikely to register any interest with the media and the general public watching todays proceedings, must pass as this government moves to reshape the Northern Territorys justice system. Since last years election result this government, led by Chief Minister Michael Gunner, has made clear its intention to overhaul the way justice is administered in the Northern Territory and announced some dramatic changes to the way offenders and victims are dealt with. The changes outlined in the Justice and Other Legislation Amendment (Australian Crime Commission) Bill are at the opposite end of the spectrum to those I have just referred to. As the Attorney-General put it during the second reading of the bill in November, the proposed tweaks are of a housekeeping nature. In a nutshell the bill seeks to reflect the abolition of CrimTrac on 1 July 2016, when the Commonwealth agencys functions were absorbed by the Australian Crime Commission. The bill will amend the Australian
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