Tag Archives: legislation

Police Marched On SA Parliament House In Fight for Compensation

Several thousand police officers, their families and supporters have taken to the streets in a protest march at the provisions affecting them under the State Government’s new workers compensation legislation.

The rare protest — the last march took place in 1991 as part of an acrimonious pay dispute — was aimed at gaining support for a move to restore compensation and medical benefits for officers seriously injured in the line of duty.

The march, led by Police Association president Mark Carroll, his executive and workplace delegates, blocked two lanes of King William St and spread over two city blocks as it converged on Parliament House from Victoria Square.

The march was timed to garner support for an amendment to the Police Act being introduced in the Legislative Council later today by Family First’s Robert Brokenshire.

His amendment would restore benefits for injured police that have been taken away under the new Return to Work Act.

The Opposition and independents in the Upper House are planning to support the Brokenshire amendment, but the Government is opposing it and contending that seriously injured officers are adequately catered for under the Return to Work Act.

On the steps of Parliament House, speakers including Mr Brokenshire, Greens MLC Tammy Franks and Opposition legal affairs spokeswoman Vickie Chapman voiced concern at the predicament of injured police and urged the government to support the amendment.

“We want you to have the same protections as other police in the country, including the Australian Federal Police,’’ Ms Chapman said.

“It is utterly unconscionable to us the government won’t recognise the work police do. You sign that oath, you do the work and place yourself in danger for us and we respect that.’’

She said for the officers to be now in the position where they have to “go and beg for assistance with your arm shot off’’ was unacceptable and the Opposition would fight to rectify the situation.

Read more in The Advertiser.

ACT Government Strengthens Child Sex Offender Register

The Australian Capital Territory government is beefing up police powers to monitor child sex offenders, including new powers to force offenders to hand over digital information and be photographed.

Police will also be given the power to publish photos, names and identifying details of child sex offenders if they fail to report to police as required or if they are believed to pose a risk.

The proposed changes were tabled in the ACT Parliament on Thursday by Attorney-General Simon Corbell, who said the new rules were justified to protect children and their families.

Police will be able to apply to include historic offenders on the sex offenders register – a rule that applies to people convicted before the 2005 register was set up. The decision will depend on when the offence was committed, its seriousness, the offender’s age and the risk he or she poses.

Mr Corbell said the government did not support a publicly available child sex offender register. Such moves in the United States had not had a demonstrable impact on re-offending, nor on the type of sexual offences.

Read more in Canberra Times.

Do Not Trade Shipwreck Loot With Pirates: Unusual Crimes Lurk Among Victoria’s Laws

Practise hypnotism before the age of 21 and you'll be committing a crime
Practise hypnotism before the age of 21 and you’ll be committing a crime
Victorians can vote and drink when they turn 18, but practise hypnotism before the age of 21 and you’ll be committing a crime under one of the state’s many arcane and sometimes bizarre laws.

Some of the 3133 different types of criminal offences committed in the state over the past decade would not be out of place in a Charles Dickens novel, while others reflect the stifling influence of the “Nanny State” and overzealous legislators [Ed – these dated laws simply weren’t reviewed, and not created recently by “overzealous legislators”].

Few would be aware it is still a crime in 2015 to loot a shipwreck or use a harnessed goat to pull a vehicle in public.

Trading with pirates can end in a 10-year jail sentence, while “conveying” water into a mine will get you five years. That compares to five years for drugging someone to commit an indecent act, or three years for dangerous or negligent driving while being pursued by police.

Read more in The Age.

Police Call For Blood Alcohol Limit In Victoria Reduced To Zero

Calls for the blood alcohol limit in Victoria to be reduced have gone a step further, with a senior policeman saying the limit should be zero.

“IF we’re serious about this we need to separate the behaviours of drinking and driving completely,” Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill said on Friday.

“If you’re planning to drink, plan not to drive.”

Under a 0.00 limit people would not be prosecuted until they reach 0.02 to acknowledge that some medications and sweets may contain alcohol, Mr Hill says.

Across the state, 25 per cent of road deaths are linked to drink driving.

Read more in The Australian.

Source: www.theaustralian.com.au

South Australian Parliament Passes Bill Targeting Serious and Organised Crime


Tough new laws targeting serious and organised crime gangs have passed State Parliament today.
Attorney General John Rau said these laws would have significant impact on the criminal activity of these gangs.
“These groups have blatant disregard for community safety,” he said.
“Events as recently as last weekend have again shown how dangerous these organisations can be.
“SA Police have told us they need these laws in order to better protect the community, and thanks to the passing of this legislation today they will now have a range of new tools they can use to combat the illegal activity of these gangs.”
Mr Rau said the Bill was amended to remove the interstate organisations following discussions with Opposition Leader Steven Marshall.
“It was important to me that this Bill pass this week, “ Mr Rau said.
“I was only prepared to offer this compromise after discussions with the Police
Commissioner confirmed that the Bill still contains all of their priority targets.
“If these interstate organisations come to South Australia in the future we will be able to add them by regulation.”
Mr Rau said following the passage of the Bill through the Parliament it would come into affect as quickly as possible.
“It is very important that Police are able to use these new measures as quickly as possible,” he said.
“These new laws send a clear message to criminal gangs, we do not accept their behaviour and they are not welcome in our community.”

News release: http://www.premier.sa.gov.au/images/news_releases/2015/15_07Jul/seriousorganisedcrimepass.pdf

Parole Applicants Forced To Give ‘Closure’ To Crime Victims In South Australia

Prisoners on life sentences in relation to murder who refuse to reveal the location of bodies will be denied parole under new reforms passed by the South Australian Government.

Those who do achieve parole will be subjected to parole conditions for the rest of their lives, with the Parole Board “compelled” to consider electronic monitoring, including via GPS.

SA Correctional Services Minister Tony Piccolo said the changes provided a fairer process and better supported victims’ families, especially those in murder cases where a body had not been found.

Read more in ABC News.

Source: www.abc.net.au

New South Wales Police Officers Warned of Unsafe Work Practice

Police Association of NSW Press Release

The Police Association of NSW is calling on the NSW Commissioner of Police to protect police officers by stopping unsafe work practices.

The NSW Heads of Court have refused to change the current protocol prohibiting police wearing their firearms and appointments in NSW Courts.

Police Association President, Scott Weber, said, “This is an important safety issue raised and campaigned by us over many months, however, our members, the workers and their representatives haven’t  been consulted. 

“The issue is being discussed behind closed doors by lawyers and the Government with no input from the very officers being placed at risk.

“Today we are appealing to the Commissioner of Police to resolve this issue and direct his officers and our members to cease this unsafe working practice. We expect that the Commissioner will continue to support his workers in their efforts to protect themselves and the public.

“We are asking our members who are required to attend court to consider their options to address this unsafe work practice.  There is an option to seek leave to enter the Court while wearing their arms and appointments.

“If leave is not granted, officers should report the matter to their Supervisor and seek a direction from their Supervisor.

“In the interim the Association will continue to consider its available options for resolving this important issue.

“The Commissioner and his executive team have tried to resolve this issue for our members.  Once it was brought to their attention they engaged with many stakeholders in control of Courts and their security, so far without success.  We thank the Commissioner and his team in their efforts so far in seeking a resolution.

“It’s time for the Attorney General and the Minister for Justice and Police to put Police officer safety and that of the public above politics.

“This is a significant safety concern and it has reached a deadlock. We now call on the Premier to intervene and allow the carriage of firearms in all Courts around the state to deliver police, and all those attending Courts around the state, the protection and security they deserve.”

Canada Introduces Five Years Jail Sentences For Killing Police Dogs And Service Animals

A new federal law that institutes a maximum jail sentence of five years for anyone convicted of intentionally killing a police dog or service animal is now in effect.

On Thursday, Tim Uppal, the federal minister of state for multiculturalism, met with Edmonton police officers to mark the enactment of Quanto’s Law.

The law was named for Edmonton police dog Quanto, who was fatally stabbed in the RCMP headquarters parking lot while he was helping to apprehend a fleeing suspect nearly two years ago.

Paul Joseph Vukmanich was sentenced to 26 months after pleading guilty to six charges, including one for killing the dog. At the time, the only charge that could be laid relating to the death of Quanto was animal cruelty, accounting for 18 months of the total sentence.

The sentencing prompted heated discussion Canada-wide about the need to send a strong message to those who would hurt a service animal.

In 2014, the federal Conservatives brought forward Bill C-35; the Justice for Animals in Service Act, and passed the legislation creating a specific charge for harming service animals, including police dogs, horses, and other service animals.

“This sends a strong message to anyone that was to injure or kill a service animal in the line of duty will be met with very serious consequences,” Tim Uppal said. “They’re there to protect us and we should be protecting them.”

Read more in the Huffington Post.

Source: www.huffingtonpost.ca

Queensland Considers New Laws To Tackle Big Spike In Motorcycle Deaths

Minimum learner periods for riders, an extension to zero-alcohol limits, and new mandatory tests and courses would be introduced under sweeping changes to motorcycle laws being considered by the state.

By July 23, there had been 32 motorcycle-related fatalities in Queensland this year, a 60 per cent increase on the same period last year, according to a discussion paper issued by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the spike in deaths was unacceptable.

Read more in Courier Mail.

Source: www.couriermail.com.au