Police given power to act on threats
POLICE officers will be given greater powers to deal with public emergencies and terrorism under new laws set to be introduced by the State Government.
The new laws will make it illegal for people to refuse to provide information sought by police or to give false or misleading information.
It will also give police greater power if a terrorist attack was to unfold in the state by allowing them to search and seize vehicles as they leave or enter a declared area, and to declare the emergency area to be a moving area to correspond with the movement of a particular person.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement at the Oxley Police Acadmey with Police Minister Bill Byrne and Police Commissioner, saying the laws needed to expanded to protect Queenslanders.
“The shocking events of Paris last year and Brussels just last month highlight the very serious risks to public safety and the dangers ordinary people face from acts of terrorism,” Premier Palaszczuk said.
“For my government, public and community safety is paramount.
“These laws will provide stronger safeguards to deal with and prevent acts of terrorism.
“Importantly, they will keep Queenslanders safe.”
The new laws will also bring Queensland in line with other states.
“We need national consistency in these laws and my government is determined to work towards that,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Police Minister Bill Byrne said the the police powers and provisions relating to the disclosure of information would also apply to chemical, biological and radiological emergencies.
The existing Preventative Detention Disorder scheme will be amended to enable an order to be made for a person whose real name is now known.
“To fast track this process, police will be able to apply for a Preventative Detention Order and a Prohibited Contact Order electronically or over the phone, rather than in writing,” he said.
Queensland Law Society president Bill Potts said he hoped the QLS would consult with the government on the new laws.
“I am pleased to see them provided with the ability to assist the community best in an emergency situation,” Mr Potts said.
“These new laws will assist in keeping Queenslanders safe, while also ensuring that the rights of our community members remain intact.”