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Tuesday, 30 November 2004
Page: 64

Senator GREIG (4:37 PM) —by leave—I move Democrat amendments (14) and (15) on sheet 4360 together:

(14) Clause 19, page 23 (line 1), omit “An application may”, substitute “Subject to subsection (7), an application may”.

(15) Clause 19, page 23 (after line 1), at the end of the clause, add:

(7) The period during which a warrant, whether varied or not, is in force may not exceed 180 days and, if a warrant has been in force for a period of 180 days, a new warrant may not be issued for a period of 30 days following the expiration of the previous warrant.

Amendments (14) and (15) reflect the Democrats' concerns that under this legislation it would be possible for someone to be subject to continuous surveillance, and I spoke to that in my speech in the second reading debate. This is because there is no limit on the number of extensions that could be granted in respect of a surveillance device warrant. While there is some protection against indefinite detention arising from the need to satisfy a judge or AAT member that the warrant is still required, we Democrats feel that there is still a need to include a maximum period for the operation of a surveillance warrant. We have set that period at 180 days or roughly six months. If a person has been the subject of a surveillance warrant for a period of six months, a new warrant cannot be issued in respect of them for a period of a month. We feel that this is an important amendment which will ensure that the police only use these intrusive powers for the efficient collection of evidence relating to serious offences or child recovery.