Current Affairs

Current Affairs




Security legislation high on agenda of new parliament
BYRON BUCKLEY, Observer staff reporter
Tuesday, November 12, 2002


A raft of legislation pertaining to national security will dominate the legislative agenda of the new Parliament which opens this Thursday, according to Leader of Government Business in the House Peter Phillips.

Among the measures to be (re)introduced into Parliament are the:

* Port Security Act;

* Fingerprint Act;

* Plea Bargaining Act;

* Money Laundering Act (amendment);

* Firearms Act (amendment); and the

* Anti-terrorism legislation.

According to Phillips, the national security minister, proposed amendments to the Firearms Act are to "provide greater penalty for gun crimes", which have resulted in a spiralling murder toll, now approximating 900 for this year.

"Our intention is to set up a House Committee on National Security very early in the legislative year," Phillips told the Observer. The matter has been the subject of several talks between the parliamentary Opposition and the Government since last year.

During yesterday's post-Cabinet press briefing, Information Minister Burchell Whiteman said parliament had passed 21 pieces of legislation between January and September this year. He added that the administration aimed to complete over 30 legislative items before this legislative year ends next March.

Several pieces of legislation, which fell off the order paper consequent on the dissolution of Parliament to hold elections, are expected to reappear. These are the:

* Charter of Rights Bill.

* New Companies Act (which was reviewed by a Senate Select Committee).

* Police Public Complaints Authority (amendment) Bill.

* Family Property Right of Spouse Bill.

* Dairy Development Board Bill.

* Corruption Prevention (amendment) Bill and Regulations, and

* Constabulary Force (amendment) Act.