A Bill before the Queensland Parliament will give that state’s Police Commissioner the power to sell seized drugs ‘without limits’. The provision is tucked away at the back end of a prisons Bill yet to be passed.
Qld police chief to get power to peddle drugs
A new law in Queensland will allow the Police Commissioner to sell illegal drugs to anyone he likes.
A clause being added to the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 gives the Queensland Police Commissioner an alternative to destroying seized drugs – instead, he can dispose of them to the Corrective Services Commissioner…or to anyone else.
In fact, the Police Commissioner will be able to sell seized drugs – “drug matter” – if he likes.
As a Bill before the Queensland Parliament explains, the new clause “does not limit the ways the Commissioner may consider are appropriate for disposing of the drug matter”.
Under ‘Subsection 3’, he’s meant to give the drugs to the Corrective Services boss to train drug detection dogs…but the very next clause gives the police chief open slather:
“Subsection (3) does not limit the ways that the commissioner (that is, the Police Commissioner) may consider are appropriate for disposing of the drug matter.”
So, he can sell drugs to raise funds for the police Christmas party, if he wants; or maybe dispose of drugs under long-term contract to one of the motorcyle organisations for resale to the public?
It is not unknown in the past for Queensland Police Commissioners to be entrepreneurial and innovative in their personal fund-raising activities.
In his second reading speech on 4 June, the Queensland Police and Corrective Services Minister, Mr Neil Roberts, outlined many aspects of the Bill…but failed to mention anywhere in his words to the House, or in his tabled written speech, anything about the Police Commissioner being given the power to flog drugs, wherever and whenever, to anyone he likes.
Maybe the Police Minister doesn’t know what is in the Bill? Its official title is:
Corrective Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2009. Tucked away, right at the end of this ‘prison’ Bill, is the new power for the Police Commissioner to dispose of drugs as he wishes.
Meanwhile, the same amendment Bill gives the Corrective Services boss the power to arbitrarily stop anyone he dislikes from visiting a prisoner for 12 months, on any grounds he likes, and without explaining why.
And, if you’re the banned person and you want to appeal, guess to whom you must appeal? The Corrective Services Commissioner, that’s who.
Queensland has enormous problems with prison laws. It has considered, on average, one Bill every year for the past 15 years in a vain bid to try to fix up the mess that is the Queensland prison system.
Here are the years that prison Bills have been before the Queensland Parliament:
1998 No 2
2001 No 2
2008 No 2
Just the frequency of new Bills going before the local parliament is proof that something is drastically different about prisons in the states.
You would think that, by now, the Queensland Parliament would have got it right. But Queensland prisons may have massive problems which remain hidden from public view, CLA believes on diverse information from a range of sources,
CLA believes the Queensland prison system will be one of the first areas to become the focus of attention when the newly-adopted Convention against Torture becomes part of Australian law.
– Bill Rowlings, July 2009
For the Bill discussed above: http://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/Bill_Pages/Bill_53_09.htm
(see: Corrective Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2009)
Sources for other Bills information: http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/view/legislativeAssembly/legislation.asp