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Communique: Law, Crime and Community Safety Council, 27-28 April 2016

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Law, Crime and Community Safety Council, 27-28 April 2016

The first meeting of the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council for 2016 was held over 27-28 April 2016 in Queenstown, New Zealand. Ministers from New Zealand, the Commonwealth and each state and territory with portfolio responsibility for law and justice, police and emergency management were in attendance, as was a representative of the Australian Local Government Association. The meeting was chaired by the Hon Nikki Kaye MP, New Zealand Minister of Civil Defence the (Emergency Management Session), the Hon Judith Collins MP, New Zealand Minister (Law Enforcement session), the Hon Amy Adams MP, New Zealand Minister of Justice (Family Violence and Community Safety session) and the Commonwealth Minister for Justice and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Counter-Terrorism, the Hon Michael Keenan MP (Law Reform).

On 28 April 2016, the Hon Rene Hidding MP, Minister for Police and Emergency Management for Tasmania, asked Ministers to pause for a minute of silence to commemorate the passage of 20 years since the events of the Port Arthur tragedy - to reflect upon the ongoing suffering of those mourning the loss of the 35 people who died and the ongoing distress of many who survived appalling physical and mental trauma. Ministers noted that the tragedy shaped the Australian community’s notions of trauma, loss and suffering and how these events resulted in an extended community recovery program which became the benchmark for similar international events in following years. Ministers reflected on the decisive actions of all Australian jurisdictions in developing and achieving consensus on the historic National Firearms Agreement, which is the envy of many countries around the world and agreed to again restate all jurisdictions’ commitment to maintaining a national consensus on firearms as embodied in the National Firearms Agreement.


Session 1: Emergency Management

Review of New Zealand’s legislative framework for recovery from a civil defence emergency

Ministers noted the update on the review of New Zealand’s legislative framework for recovery from emergencies to strengthen provisions for recovery from small-to-medium-scale emergencies and consider ‘blueprint’ legislation for recovery from large-scale emergencies.

New Zealand’s National Disaster Resilience Strategy 2017

Minsters noted the progress on the development of New Zealand’s National Disaster Resilience Strategy 2017 that will aim to promote a holistic, whole-of-society approach to risk and resilience, at the household, community, city/district, and society levels. The Strategy will also act as an implementation roadmap for New Zealand’s commitment to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Disaster Funding Reform

Ministers noted the progress in developing a new model for funding the States and Territories for the reconstruction of essential public assets based on upfront damage assessment and pre-determined pricing.

National Fire Danger Rating System Project

Ministers endorsed continued efforts to deliver a new national fire danger rating system for Australia.

Intergovernmental Agreement on the Provision of Bureau of Meteorology Hazard Services

Ministers noted the update on the Intergovernmental Agreement between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories on the provision of Bureau of Meteorology hazard services to emergency services agencies.

Best Practice Disaster Resilience Initiatives

Ministers shared examples of best practice disaster resilience initiatives from their jurisdictions including an update from the Australian Capital Territory on its Women in Emergency Services Strategy.

Exploring the real cost of disasters and investing in resilient infrastructure

Ministers received a presentation from the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Community Safety on recent reports released by that group.

Session 2: Law enforcement

National Firearms Agreement and other firearms measures

Ministers noted a number of measures to deal with illegal firearms and the ongoing work of senior officials to update the National Firearms Agreement.

Session 3: Family Violence and Community Safety

Update on National Domestic Violence Order Scheme

Ministers noted updates on progress towards the national Domestic Violence Order scheme, including the interim and national technical capability to support the scheme.

Harmful Digital Communication

Ministers noted that several priority actions for the LCCSC relate to harmful digital communications and that New Zealand passed the Harmful Digital Communications Act in 2015. Ministers agreed:

a) that New Zealand will coordinate a comparative analysis of jurisdictions’ approach to harmful digital communications including both civil and criminal responses, education and awareness programs, child exploitation material and options for blocking offensive digital material and present a paper to the Council at its second meeting in 2016; and

b) that New Zealand will join the National Cybercrime Working Group.

Response to the panel on unexplained wealth

Ministers noted the significant work undertaken by the Commonwealth, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory through an officials level Working Group to develop details for a national cooperative scheme on unexplained wealth.

National security update including legislative developments

Ministers received an update from the Commonwealth Minister for Justice and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Counter Terrorism, the Deputy Director General of Security and the Acting Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police on current national security issues.

Session 4: Law Reform

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s report on redress and civil litigation

Ministers noted an update from the Commonwealth and that consultation will occur through First Ministers’ departments.

Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture

Ministers discussed the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and noted work towards ratification.

Unified National Legal Profession

Ministers received an update on the implementation of the Legal Profession Uniform Law in Victoria and New South Wales, following its commencement on 1 July 2015. Ministers from non-participating jurisdictions (Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory) will continue to monitor the progress of the Uniform Law.

Productivity Commission report into Access to Justice Arrangements

Ministers noted the progress on considering recommendations arising from the Productivity Commission report into Access to Justice Arrangements.

National Judicial College of Australia — Nomination of officer to Council

Ministers endorsed the appointment of Mr Rick Persse, Chief Executive Officer of the South Australian Attorney-General’s Department, as the representative of State and Territory Attorneys-General on the Council of the National Judicial College of Australia.

LCCSC priority actions for 2016-17

Ministers noted progress against the Council’s priorities for 2015-16 and agreed to priority actions for 2016-17.