Anti-bikie laws tabled by the Canberra Liberals’ Jeremy Hanson are “human rights compliant” and “better than other jurisdictions” according to the ACT Human Rights Commissioner Dr Helen Watchirs.
In a sitting of the Justice and Community Safety Committee hearing into Annual Reports, Dr Watchirs confirmed that the anti-consorting Bill tabled by Mr Hanson had addressed all the human rights considerations that had caused issues in other versions of this legislation.
The ACT Government has previously rejected anti-consorting laws on the grounds that they would breach human rights. In response to the Canberra Liberals’ laws, the Police Minister Mick Gentleman told The Canberra Times that; “It’s the human rights of innocent Canberrans that could come into play, so that’s the concern that we have.”
But today in the Assembly today, Dr Watchirs dispelled those concerns.
“We’re happy with the legislation that satisfies human rights,” she said.
“With all those adjustments we’re satisfied that it’s better than other jurisdictions.”
Quotes attributable to Shadow-Attorney General Jeremy Hanson:
“I’m very pleased to have put forward human rights compliant versions of anti-bikie laws.
“Considering the Government’s concern with our laws previously rested around human rights compliance, there should be no reason why these laws can’t be enacted in the ACT.
“An invitation was offered to the Government before the laws were even tabled. Now that human rights issues are no longer an issue, I hope I can get the Government’s support for these important laws.
“They are not the whole solution, but they are an important tool in preventing the crime we have seen on our streets rather than just respond to it.
“I genuinely hope the Government can talk through any remaining issues and support these laws to make our suburbs safe.”