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Tuesday, 30 November 2004
Page: 67

Senator LUDWIG (4:46 PM) —As I understand it, amendment (24) would require the record of an emergency authorisation under clause 31 to include the same information required by clause 17 in respect of a warrant. It seems to me that no useful purpose would be served if the information were already there. Not all of the matters in clause 17 would be applicable to emergency situations. You could imagine circumstances outside of clause 17 where an emergency situation might arise and require authorisation that would not be covered. If you step to the next process, the law enforcement authority must then apply within 48 hours—it used to be two business days—for approval of the emergency authorisation and, if desired, a warrant for the further use of the surveillance device.

That application contains all the details and the information that is provided to justify why they require a warrant. That will stand or fall on the merits of the particular application before the AAT member or judge, as the case may be. Under clause 31 the authorising officer has an onus to ensure that it is an emergency and provide a written record accordingly that that is the basis for the warrant. All warrants have got to come back to the judge in this instance to demonstrate their bona fides, and if they want a further warrant then they have got to apply. That seems to be the way the system worked and it seems to have merit. We do not see any additional benefit served by the amendments in this instance. Therefore, we are not in a position to support them.