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Thursday, 24 June 2004
Page: 31711

Mr SLIPPER (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance and Administration) (6:01 PM) —I move:

That the amendments be agreed to.

Although I have not been briefed on this job, I am particularly pleased to move these amendments to the Customs Legislation Amendment (Airport, Port and Cargo Security) Bill 2004. As amended, the bill will assist Customs to strengthen border security—

Mr Crean —Tell us how.

Mr SLIPPER —In many ways, my friend. I handled the legislation in the Main Committee but I did not know that the message was coming back at this particular time.

Mr Crean —And you've forgotten your arguments in the Main Committee.

Mr SLIPPER —Not at all. This is very important legislation. It is legislation that was broadly supported by both sides of the House, and this bill, as amended, will assist Customs to strengthen border security and at the same time protect the rights of individuals who may be detained under these provisions. The amendments provide for a relative or friend to be notified of a person's detention, if the period of detention exceeds 45 minutes, or upon request, in the case of a minor. Importantly, there are protections here that will allow a Customs officer to prevent another person being notified, if the officer believes, on reasonable grounds, that the notification should not occur, to safeguard the process of law enforcement or protect the life and safety of any person. The amendments also ensure that the CEO of Customs will make directions in relation to suitable places of detention and other matters that the CEO considers appropriate. I commend the amendments to the House.

The SPEAKER —The question is that the amendments be agreed to.

Question agreed to.