The Palaszczuk Government passes new police powers to respond to terrorism events

New laws giving police additional powers to help prevent, disrupt or respond to a terrorist attack in Queensland have passed through Parliament.

Police Minister Mark Ryan said the Counter-Terrorism and Other Legislation Amendment Bill would enhance the ability for the Queensland Police Service (QPS) to keep the community safe during this time of heightened security.

“During a declared terrorist emergency, police will now be able to search an electronic device, require passwords, immediately copy evidence located on devices as well as use biometric information to rapidly establish or confirm a person’s identity,” Minister Ryan said.

“What this means is that police will be in a better position to get the critical information they may need in order to prevent or disrupt an attack in Queensland.

“The new laws also enhance the operational effectiveness of surveillance device powers and give police the ability to move and destroy homemade explosives.”

Acting Police Commissioner Peter Martin said these laws were a new, important tool for police.

“The security environment around the world is ever-changing and that means we must constantly review how to best deal with the threat of violent extremism,” Acting Commissioner Martin said.

“These new laws will give our officers the ability to deal with these threats quickly and hopefully minimise the risk to the community.

“While there is no specific threat to Queensland, the national alert level remains at probable – and the community can be rest assured that police are doing everything in our power to keep them safe.”

The new powers given to police under the Counter-Terrorism and Other Legislation Amendment Bill are balanced by robust safeguards to ensure a balance between protecting the community from harm and an individual’s rights and liberties.

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