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Thursday, 16 June 2005
Page: 157

Senator IAN MACDONALD (Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation) (8:13 PM) —The government do not accept the amendment either. Under the Fisheries Management Act and the Torres Strait Fisheries Act, there are currently statutory powers that allow fisheries officers to detain or tow a boat or require it to be moved to a place in Australia so that suspected illegal foreign fishing offences can be investigated. This bill seeks to provide protection to those officers when they are lawfully exercising their duties. This power is consistent with other border protection legislation, such as the Customs Act and the Migration Act. We do think that the officers require and deserve that protection when they are acting lawfully in connection with their powers. For those reasons, we reject the Democrats’ amendment.