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McKim, Nick "Government Backflip Worse Than Thought" 17 Oct 2005

The Tasmanian Greens today said that Attorney-General Judy Jackson’s about face on Tasmania’s sex industry could be worse than previously thought with increased powers apparently given to police in relation to listening devices and compelling witnesses to give evidence. Greens Opposition Justice spokesperson Nick McKim MHA said that he also had concerns that the government would bring the amended Bill on for debate in the House of Assembly without giving opposition parties time to scrutinise the amendments. “The Greens understand that as well as the amendments confirmed yesterday by Mrs Jackson, the amended Bill will also contain provisions which will reduce judicial oversight in relation to listening devices, and strengthen police powers to compel potential witnesses to comply,” Mr McKim said. “The government has already given Legislative Councillors a copy of the amendments, but of course the opposition parties remain in the dark. On one of the most important Bills to reach Parliament this year.” “Considering the magnitude of Mrs Jackson’s backflip, and the complexity of the issue, the government must give opposition parties at least 24 hours to consider the amendments and consult the community.” “Police were already given too many powers in the original Bill, and by the sounds of it the amendments will only make matters worse.” “It is all very well for Mrs Jackson to increase penalties for coercing sex workers, but these will be impossible to police because Mrs Jackson is driving brothels underground,” Mr McKim said.
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