Queensland Law Society

Major events law no cause for celebration

At a public hearing today, Queensland Law Society stated concerns about proposed legislation that would give event volunteers the power to search people, their possessions and vehicles.

Deputy President Michael Fitzgerald said the Bill provides ‘authorised persons’ with extensive search powers.

“Authorised persons are appointed by the event organiser and can be one of their staff members, a public service or local government employee or even an event volunteer,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

“They can ask people entering a major event area to consent to searching and examining their possessions, asking for identification, removal of outer clothing and searching and even moving vehicles.

“These powers are intrusive and require specialists to undertake them.

“Giving event organisers broad, unfettered jurisdiction to appoint people with such power might not be an appropriate delegation of administrative responsibilities.

“If necessary, event-specific legislation, such as that created for G20, should be created to deal with upcoming major events like the Asian Cup Australia and Cricket World Cup.”