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Govt plans security checks for big events

AAP logoAAP 23/11/2016 Roje Adaimy

Workers and volunteers at major events like the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games could be subject to background checks in a bid to prevent serious attacks under draft laws.

The federal government on Wednesday introduced to parliament a wide-ranging bill aimed at strengthening Australia's criminal justice system.

Among the 11 proposals is a measure to allow AusCheck - part of the Attorney-General's Department - to conduct and co-ordinate checks for large-scale events "of national character" as declared by the justice minister.

Current laws do not easily allow checks at such events.

"These amendments will enable the government to prevent persons who pose serious risks, such as persons of national security concern, from working or volunteering at major national events and contributing to serious incidents," Justice Minister Michael Keenan told parliament.

Some of the other proposed measures include:

- enhancing Australia's ability to assist international courts and war crimes tribunals

- giving magistrates, judges and courts sufficient powers to make orders regarding extraditions

- improving protections and support for vulnerable victims and witnesses

- clarifying offences relating to human-trafficking and slavery

- expanding the definition of debt bondage

- allowing travellers carrying $10,000 or more out of Australia to report it electronically, among other changes to the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism framework

- ensuring the Australian Federal Police's alcohol and drug testing program and integrity framework is applied to the entire workforce.

Mr Keenan said Australia's criminal justice framework was both fair and strong, but needed fine-tuning.

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