Dr WOODRUFF question to MINISTER FOR POLICE, FIRE and EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, Mr FERGUSON
Are you aware Darren Hine, Commissioner of Police, raised very serious concerns about the draconian Clarence Council by-law? The commissioner wrote that the general manager's new powers to ban people from a public place may be an 'overreach that impinges against people's civil liberties.'
He also said that the by-law, 'Does not properly define the operation or scope or limitations of such a strong new power or how its application may be enforced.'
Such strong comments by the commissioner should have been addressed by the Clarence City Council but they were not. Do you support your commissioner and will you act to rein in this rogue council by-law?
Madam Speaker, I will have a few comments to make and the overriding one is that I will look very closely at what Dr Woodruff has stated in her question to me. I will take advice on the point. To the question, do I support our commissioner, of course I do, and every member of this House ought to. As the Treasurer has already outlined in his role as Minister for Local Government, this is clearly a matter for Clarence City Council.
Dr Woodruff - No, it is a matter for parliament. It is going to come to you next week.
Mr FERGUSON - If you would be generous enough to listen to the answer, I say to Dr Woodruff that I will have a look at your words and if I have more to say to this House I will return. That does not necessarily mean I will have anything further to add to this matter.
The fact is, many people are consulted when looking at new by-laws being introduced by local government and I stand with the Minister for Local Government, this is clearly a matter for the Clarence City Council.