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WITNESS PROTECTION BILL 1994

Order of the day read for the adjourned debate on the motion of the

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Primary Industries and

Energy (Senator Sherry)--That this bill be now read a second time.

Debate resumed.

Documents: Senator Chapman, by leave, tabled the following documents:

Witness Protection Bill 1994--Copies of letters from--

R G McLean, Commander, Officer in Charge, Anti-Corruption Branch,

South Australia Police Department to the Presiding Magistrate,

Adelaide Magistrates Court, dated 6 September 1993.

Unidentified person to Simon, dated 8 and 15 June 1993.

Unidentified person to the Hon. Wayne Matthew, MP, dated 4 February

1994.

Question put and passed.

Bill read a second time.

The Senate resolved itself into committee for the consideration of the

bill.

In the committee

Bill taken as a whole by leave.

Explanatory memorandum: The Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs

(Senator Bolkus) tabled a supplementary explanatory memorandum relating

to the Government amendments to be moved to the bill.

Senator Bolkus moved the following amendments together by leave:

Clause 15, page 13, subclause (2), lines 3 and 4, omit the subclause,

substitute the following subclause:

"(2) That action may include:

(a) providing protection for the participant while the participant

is attending court; or

(b) notifying a party or possible party to legal proceedings that

the Commissioner will accept process issued by a court or

tribunal on behalf of the participant, and nominating a member

for the purpose.".

Clause 16, page 14, at end of clause, add the following subclause:

"(6) In this section:

"participant' includes a person who:

(a) was provided with a new identity under the NWPP; and

(b) is no longer a participant but retains that identity.".

Clause 25, page 19, subclause (3), line 8, omit "18 and 20", substitute

"18, 20 and 26A".

Clause 26, page 20, at end of clause, add the following subclause:

"(5) Subsection (1) does not apply to information about a financial

support arrangement for a participant or a former participant if the

information is provided in a way that cannot identify the location, or

prejudice the safety, of the participant or former participant.".

After clause 26, page 20, insert the following clause:

Requirement where participant becomes a witness in criminal proceedings

"26A.(1) If:

(a) a participant is provided with a new identity under the NWPP;

and

(b) the person, whether or not he or she remains a participant,

retains that identity; and

(c) the person is to be a witness in a criminal proceeding under

that identity; and

(d) the person has a criminal record under his or her former

identity;

the person must notify the Commissioner that the person is to be a

witness in the proceeding.

"(2) After being notified under subsection (1), the Commissioner may

take any action he or she considers appropriate in the circumstances,

including disclosing to the court, the prosecutor and the accused

person or the accused person's legal representative the criminal

record of the participant or former participant.".

Debate ensued.

On the motion of Senator Bolkus further consideration of the amendments

was postponed.

Senator Spindler moved the following amendment:

Clause 8, page 7, after paragraph (3)(d), insert the following

paragraphs:

"(da) the likelihood that any relevant evidence or statement by the

witness is and will be truthful; and

(db) the extent to which inclusion may prejudice any prosecution of

the witness; and

(dc) whether inclusion may prejudice the legal rights of another

person; and".

Debate ensued.

Question--That the amendment be agreed to--put and negatived.

Senator Spindler moved the following amendments together by leave:

Clause 9, page 8, after subclause (2), insert the following subclauses:

"(2A) Where a person who is a participant has or is granted custody of

a child, the memorandum of agreement must contain an agreement by the

participant to comply with the terms of the court order relating to

that custody.

"(2B) The memorandum of agreement must not contain any term, condition

or other inclusion in relation to any consequence that could or would

arise if the evidence given by the participant to the court differs

from the evidence that is expected to be given by the participant.".

Clause 13, page 11, after paragraph (2)(f), insert the following

paragraph:

"(fa) where a person has a right of access to a child who is

relocated with the witness--providing that person with such

payments as are reasonable to defray the cost of exercising

that right; and".

Clause 13, page 12, after subclause (2), insert the following

subclauses:

"(2A) Subject to subsection (2B), that action may not include

relocating a child who is, or is reasonably believed to be, in the

custody or the joint custody of, or subject to rights of access by, a

person other than the witness.

"(2B) Subsection (2A) does not apply if:

(a) the person other than the witness agrees in writing to the

relocation of the child; or

(b) a court orders the relocation of the child.

"(2C) Action of the kind specified in subsection (2) must not be taken

if, in all the circumstances, it would expose any member of the public

to an unreasonable risk of harm.".

Debate ensued.

At 6.50 p.m.: The Acting Deputy President (Senator Calvert) resumed the

Chair and the Temporary Chairman of Committees (Senator Colston)

reported progress.