Keeping the community safe is a top priority for this Government and new legislation has been introduced this week to allow police officers to detain and question individuals, without charge, for up to 14 days if they are suspected of committing or planning a terrorist act.
The legislation was introduced into the NSW Parliament this week and would apply to anyone over 14 years of age.
It still shocks me that we would ever need to detain someone so young, but that is the reality we now face. That is why we are also doing all we can to protect our youth from radicalisation through preventative programs.
These new laws will come with protections, particularly for those aged under 18, to ensure they can’t be used inappropriately. These protections include a requirement that detention beyond an initial four day period must be approved by a Supreme Court Judge.
No legislation will ever completely remove the terrorist threat. However, this legislation has the strong backing of police as they work hard to keep us as safe as possible.
Other measures to improve public safety have been introduced this week, including Serious Crime Prevention Orders, which can be granted if a person has been convicted of a serious criminal offence or if a court is satisfied they are engaged in serious crime-related activity, as well as Public Safety Orders. These orders can be issued by a senior police officer for up to 72 hours to ban someone from attending a specific public event or place. The order can be made for more than 72 hours if necessary for public safety, and the maximum penalty for breaching one of these orders is five years’ jail.
In other news, major works will soon begin on the new ambulance superstation at Penrith.
The Penrith superstation is part of our $150 million investment into five sites across Sydney that will be transformed into key hubs for paramedics and support staff. Planning approval has been granted for the High Street site, which will have parking bays for up to 22 ambulance vehicles to meet increasing demand on Western Sydney’s resources.
The purpose-built, modern facility at Penrith will be supported by a network of smaller stations, which will mean paramedics are better placed to support the communities of Penrith and surrounds during medical emergencies.
Construction works have now begun on four other superstations at Blacktown, Bankstown, Kogarah and Liverpool, and more locations will be announced in future.