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Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Page: 9828


Senator BOB CARR (New South WalesMinister for Foreign Affairs) (13:42): I thank honourable senators for their contributions to this debate. I would like to thank as well the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs for its inquiry into the bill and its recommendation that it be passed by the Senate.

The Law Enforcement Integrity Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 will ensure that our law enforcement agencies have the powers they need to prevent, detect and investigate corruption. It will allow for officers of the Australian Federal Police, Australian Crime Commission and Customs suspected of corruption to be subject to targeted integrity testing. I am familiar with this principle, having introduced it into the New South Wales Police Force after the Wood royal commission. It was a big step, back in the mid-nineties, and of course raises the question of entrapment or provocation, but properly oversighted it is an indispensable weapon in detecting and eliminating corruption.

The bill expands the jurisdiction of ACLEI to include all staff in the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre and CrimTrac and prescribed staff in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. It increases the power of the CEO of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. We know that most of our law enforcement officers are honest, hardworking individuals, but it is an unfortunate fact that all systems can be penetrated by officers not so motivated or not so characterised. Therefore, we need to ensure that we have the right legislation and the right frameworks in place to identify corruption where it occurs, to weed it out and to prevent it in the first place. I commend the bill to the Senate.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.