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Thursday, 18 March 2010
Page: 2924


Mr McCLELLAND (Attorney-General) (9:30 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement Bill 2010, along with the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill, forms part of the package of reforms being progressed by the government to Australia’s national security legislation.  These reforms are aimed at promoting transparency and ensuring that our laws are appropriately accountable in their operation.

The bill will improve oversight of the activities of the Australian Federal Police by establishing the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement which will replace and extend the functions of the current Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Crime Commission. 

The new committee will be responsible for providing broad parliamentary oversight of the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Crime Commission.  It will continue the work of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Crime Commission by also monitoring and reporting to parliament on the performance by the Australian Crime Commission of its functions.

The committee will also have the ability to examine trends and changes in criminal activities, practices and methods and report on any desirable changes to the functions, structure, powers and procedures of the Australian Crime Commission or the Australian Federal Police. 

The establishment of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement exemplifies the government’s commitment to improving oversight and accountability in relation to the exercise of the functions of Commonwealth agencies.

I commend this bill.

Debate (on motion by Mr Wood) adjourned.