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Thursday, 1 March 2012
Page: 2597

Mr CRAIG KELLY (Hughes) (12:23): I will be very brief, because I know the importance of getting the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Powers and Offences) Bill 2011 through today. The coalition are glad to support these changes. One point worth mentioning about the bill is that it makes certain new drugs illegal. One particular drug is known as meow meow, which is actually mephedrone. This is a very dangerous drug which has resulted in over 100 deaths in the UK. Its current use is not illegal but this bill will make it illegal. It is very important that we have the legislative powers to act quickly so that any new drugs that come onto the system—our scene—that are very dangerous, like this new drug, can quickly be made illegal.

I would also like to congratulate our local superintendent of the Liverpool area, Ray King. He is doing a fantastic job cleaning up Liverpool. Ray was previously the superintendent who did the excellent work in Cabramatta using CCTV cameras. I would like to note that it was the coalition's commitment in 2010 to get three quarters of a million dollars to fund the CCTV cameras in the Hughes electorate and we hope that they can be put in soon. However, I would like to quickly express my disappointment that the government has been cutting back in many areas of our policing, particularly our customs service where we have seen reductions in the number of cargo screenings. This is very detrimental and makes Ray King's job on the streets of Liverpool all the more difficult.

It is great to have these bills to increase the powers of our police, but we cannot at the same time be cutting back other areas of expenditure and customs, which we have seen this government doing, and also in the Australia Federal Police. We support the bill and we hope it gets through quickly.