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Tuesday, 30 November 2004
Page: 21

Senator GREIG (1:44 PM) —by leave—I move Democrat amendments (6), (11) and (27):

(6) Clause 14, page 16 (line 33), at the end of subparagraph (5)(a)(ii), add “, and the number of each kind of surveillance device sought to be authorised”.

(11) Clause 17, page 19 (line 9), after “devices”, insert “, and the number of each kind of surveillance device,”.

(27) Clause 33, page 34 (line 23), after “relates”, insert “, the number of each kind of surveillance device”.

One of the initial concerns that we Democrats had in relation to this bill was that it contains no requirement for a surveillance device warrant to specify the number of surveillance devices permitted to be used. Surveillance device warrants are required to set out a range of different matters, including the alleged offence, the person or premises to which the warrant relates, the period of operation of the warrant and the types of surveillance devices which it authorises to be used. We believe it is also important for surveillance device warrants to specify the number of surveillance devices authorised. We think this is something that the police should be required to provide information on when applying for a warrant and it is also something which the judge or AAT member granting the warrant should be required to give consideration to. It may be, for example, that in relation to a particular offence an effective investigation will involve a large number of surveillance devices. While this may be completely justifiable we believe that there should be some accountability, certainly in the level of surveillance undertaken by the police.

By requiring the number of surveillance devices to be expressly authorised in the warrant we believe there is a great opportunity for the judge or AAT member to consider whether the surveillance regime proposed by the police is reasonable in those circumstances. Obviously, that would be on a case-by-case basis. What we aim to do with these amendments is require that all surveillance warrants, in addition to the requirements already set out in the bill, go that step further and clearly specify the number of surveillance devices which they authorise to be used.