Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) — My constituency question is to the Attorney-General. I have a significant number of licensed venues in my region as well as the training headquarters of a large private security company. They are concerned about terrorism and the training given to security guards. While more than 50 temporary concrete bollards were installed overnight across the CBD, a quick reflection on recent terror attacks across the globe shows that vehicles are not the only method terrorists use. We can see from the Orlando mass shooting, the targeting of the Ariana Grande concert and the football stadium bombings in France that the smuggling of devices and weapons into venues is a massive concern. Licensed security officers are on the front line. They are also first responders in the event that something occurs. However, counterterrorism training for licensed security guards is lacking. My question is: will the government, in its current counterterrorism law reform, look into the licence criteria for security officers and crowd controllers with a view to recommending further training?
The Government announced the establishment of an Expert Panel on Terrorism and Violent Extremism Prevention and Response Powers on 18 June 2017. The Panel will report to Government within weeks on reform options to the powers, guidance and protections available to Victoria Police. A more detailed report on wider reforms across the entire justice system will follow in the months afterwards.
The Panel has a broad remit to examine relevant laws and practices. The Government expects that the Panel will make recommendations in the short term that can be quickly implemented to ensure the balance of laws, powers and obligations is appropriate to counter the current threat environment. In addition, the more considered detailed report will examine broader issues. Those issues are not limited and the Panel is able to examine laws such as those governing licensed security guards to identify any weaknesses or areas for improvement.
Matters relating to licensed venues fall within the portfolio responsibilities of the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation. The licensing of crowd controllers falls within the portfolio responsibilities of the Minister for Police.