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Thursday, 1 December 2016
Page: 5258

Mr KEENAN (StirlingMinister for Justice and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Counter-Terrorism) (22:20): Given the hour and the noncontroversial nature of the bill, I am going to talk for a bit longer than I expected, because the Leader of the House has asked me to do so! The Criminal Code Amendment (High Risk Terrorist Offenders) Bill 2016 is obviously a very important bill for the security of Australia. I would like to thank all of the members who made a contribution to this debate. This bill concerns a significant public safety issue. It establishes a framework for the continued detention of offenders we consider to be high-risk terrorist offenders who are already serving a custodial sentence but are considered by the Supreme Court to present an unacceptable risk to the community.

The court must be satisfied to a high degree of probability, on the basis of admissible evidence, that the offender poses an unacceptable risk of committing a serious terrorist offence if released into the community. The proposed post-sentence preventative detention scheme is a necessary response to these serious threat that terrorism poses to Australia and its people. The regime is modelled closely on existing state and territory post-sentence detention regimes for high-risk sex or violent offenders, and all state and Territory governments have agreed to the need for this bill.

In accordance with the 2004 intergovernmental agreement on counter-terrorism laws, states and territories have agreed to the form of the bill now before the parliament. This bill has had the benefit of extensive scrutiny by parliamentary committees, including the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. As recommended by the committee, the government has developed an implementation plan. This includes further detail on and time frames for the key operational elements of the scheme, such as developing risk-assessment tools and detention arrangements for offenders. This has been done in close consultation with the states and territories.

Also, in accordance with the committee's recommendations, by 30 June 2017 the government will provide the committee with a report on the work that has been achieved under this plan and a timetable for any further work that needs to be done to implement the operational needs of this scheme.

My understanding is that we have received a message from the Senate! I thank the opposition for their support on the passage of this bill. I will be very pleased to see it pass this House.

The SPEAKER: The question is that the bill be now read a second time.

A division having been called and the bells having been rung—

The SPEAKER: As there are fewer than five members on the side for the noes, I declare the question resolved in the affirmative in accordance with standing order 127. The names of those members who are in the minority will be recorded in the Votes and Proceedings.

Question agreed to, Mr Bandt, Ms McGowan and Mr Wilkie voting no.

Bill read a second time.