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Thursday, 3 December 2015
Page: 14628


Mr KEENAN (StirlingMinister for Justice and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Counter-Terrorism) (10:29): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

This bill forms a package with the Australian Crime Commission Amendment (National Policing Information) Billor the merger bill, which implements the historic decision of all of Australia's jurisdictions to bring CrimTrac and the Australian Crime Commission together under one banner.

CrimTrac's success as a cooperative federal scheme supporting the information needs of police has been built on its self-funded business model.

This bill will allow the merged agency to impose charges for certain services, in order to fund or subsidise the provision of other services to police and the community.

This reflects CrimTrac's current arrangements, where criminal history checking provides most of the funding for other services. However, the bill will also enable the merged agency to charge for new services in the future, should this be desirable. This will ensure that the business model can adapt to meet emerging police and government needs.

The bill will create a mechanism to allow the minister to specify in a legislative instrument the services that the merged agency will charge for, who has to pay the charges, and the amount of each charge.

This provides the merged agency with the flexibility to impose different charges for different classes of persons, such as reduced charges for volunteers seeking criminal history checks.

Conclusion

This bill is a key ingredient in the merger of CrimTrac and the Australian Crime Commission.

CrimTrac's nationally coordinated, high-quality information technology systems and services are critical to supporting day-to-day policing operations. The importance of these services will only grow, as crime and criminal methodology change.

This bill will allow the merged agency to continue to provide these services to Australian police in an adaptable and fiscally sustainable way.

Debate adjourned.