Crime Commission Amendments Bill Introduced into Tasmanian Legislative Council

Friday 1 December 2017 @ 11.03 a.m. | Crime | Legal Research

Having been introduced into the Tasmanian House of Assembly on 9 August 2017 by the Hon Marinus Hidding (Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management), the Australian Crime Commission Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2017 (the Bill), passed through the House of Assembly on 28 November 2017 without amendments.

The Bill was introduced into the Legislative Council on 29 November 2017 where it currently awaits further discussion.

About ACIC

The ACIC works closely with many national and international partners to:

  • create a national intelligence picture of crime;
  • target serious and organised crime;
  • deliver information and services to frontline policing and law enforcement; and
  • undertake crime and justice research to build an evidence base for addressing crime in Australia.

ACIC’s mission is to:

“ … make Australia safer through improved national ability to discover, understand and respond to current and emerging crime threats and criminal justice issues, including the ability to connect police and law enforcement to essential policing knowledge and information.”

Background to the Bill

The Bill’s Explanatory Memorandum indicates that the legislation was introduced to manage the outcome of the merger between the Australian Crime Commission (the ACC) and CrimTrac (a former Agency in the Attorney-General's Department) organisation and to counter serious and organised crime in Australia. The merger of the two organisations became known as the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC).

The functions of the former ACC included:

  • collecting and analysing criminal intelligence;
  • setting national criminal intelligence priorities;
  • providing and maintaining criminal intelligence systems; and
  • and investigating federally relevant criminal activity and undertaking taskforces in conjunction with state and territory police.

About CrimTrac

CrimTrac was the national information-sharing service for Australia’s police, law enforcement and national security agencies. The agency was established in 2000 under an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA), as a Commonwealth Executive Agency and collaborative partnership between the Commonwealth, States and Territories.

The Commonwealth Government introduced legislation on 1 July 2016 merging CrimTrac into the ACC. The ACC now performs the previous functions of CrimTrac including providing national police information systems and services to police and other eligible bodies and nationally coordinated criminal history checks to accredited agencies.

Speaking to the media at the time, Justice Minister Michael Keenan said in a statement:

“We don’t want to be in a situation where we fail in our duty to protect our nation because terrorists could share information quicker than we could … The more we can strengthen this capacity, the quicker our partners will be able to prevent, detect and disrupt significant threats … The purpose of the merger is to ensure that Australia is using its national law enforcement information and intelligence capabilities as effectively as possible to support police to protect the community.”

The Proposed Amendments

As a result of the merger, a number of consequential amendments are required to Tasmanian Acts that authorise, or facilitate, the release of information to CrimTrac, now allowing those bodies to instead send that information to the ACC. The Bill is anticipated to amend the following Tasmanian acts which currently have authorisation in certain circumstances to release information to CrimTrac:

  • Annulled Convictions Act 2003;
  • Firearms Act 1996;
  • Forensic Procedures Act 2000; and
  • Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (Tasmania) Act 2010.

References to CrimTrac will be removed, and where required, replaced with references to the Australian Crime Commission. The Bill also includes transitional arrangements to ensure that any agreements made between Tasmanian government agencies and CrimTrac are also deemed to be equivalent agreements with the ACC.

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Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission – About us

CrimTrac to be folded into Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission

Australian Crime Commission Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2017 [Tas] (No 44 of 2017) - Bill and supporting information available from TimeBase LawOne Service.

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