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Monday, 27 August 2001
Page: 26706


Senator ELLISON (Minister for Justice and Customs) (7:45 PM) —The way in which this immunity can be conferred is spelt out more carefully. For instance, the proposed amendment states:

(3B) A person who:

(a) possesses or conveys, or facilitates the conveyance of, prohibited imports, prohibited exports or smuggled goods; and

(b) in doing so is acting in accordance with written instructions referring to this section issued by a Customs officer acting in the course of duty;

is not criminally responsible for an offence against a law of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory relating to the possession, conveyance or facilitation of the conveyance of such goods.

What you have there is a spelling out that there must be a reference to the section by the Customs officer in issuing the written instructions. It does place a tighter requirement, if you like, on Customs and the conferral of immunity here. As I said, the officer using the provision will have to be acting in the course of that officer's duty and to specifically refer, as I have said, to the section in giving written instructions giving rise to the immunity. It will ensure that indemnity that might be conferred to third persons who assist Customs in a controlled delivery—I am talking about a controlled delivery here—will extend only to those whose assistance has been sought and duly authorised. It tightens that aspect of being sought and authorised in relation to a controlled delivery. It really tightens the wing nuts on it, if you like, and Customs was of the view that the previous drafting did not go as far as that in bedding down that aspect.


The CHAIRMAN —The question is that government amendment (1) on sheet GA2 to opposition amendment (42) on sheet 2321 be agreed to.

Question resolved in the affirmative.