Major Events Bill 2014 Poses Awkward Police Power

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By Athena Yenko | August 27, 2014 3:42 PM EST

The Major Events Bill 2014, proposed by Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey, imposes Police Power that could cause a feeling of awkwardness to event goers.

The bill bestows power to "authorised person" to subject event goers to metal detectors, to ransack their possessions and to have them remove their outer clothing for inspections.

REUTERS
Australian singer Kylie Minogue performs during the closing ceremony of the 2014 commonwealth games at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland August 3, 2014.

The provisions seemed like ordinary, except that "authorised persons" could be anybody who volunteered from the public service and local government employees to any person affiliated to the major event being held.

Although the use of "reasonable force" will be exclusive to the police authorities, "authorised persons" have the power to ask an individual to leave the major event, to seize banners or logos from sponsors found selling and to demand from attendees their names and addresses.

Stuckey admits that "some of the provisions in the bill that relate to crowd and safety powers have the potential to impact on the rights and liberties of individuals, particularly within the prescribed major event area."

However, "these provisions are required to enable a major event to be staged effectively and to ensure the safety and security of patrons. Ensuring the safety and security of patrons will help establish and maintain Queensland's reputation as a major event destination and assist in managing anti-social behaviour," the explanatory notes attached to the proposed legislation reads.

As for the determination whether an event constitute a "major event," the Governor-in-Council, who is the governor acting with members of the Cabinet, will declare an event as major, on the recommendation of the minister.  

With this, the Commonwealth Games of 2018, V8 Supercars and the 2015 Asian Cup Football will all be major events.

Venues such as stadiums will be categorised as major event areas, as well as any public place where the major event is shown on a screen for public viewing.

Other provisions of the bill involve banning flares, animals and throwing of objects that can hurt people or damage premises; unauthorised drones and blimps will be blocked from the airspace; ticket scalpers will be apprehended; putting up tents and distribution of flyers will all be prohibited.

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(Photo: REUTERS / Jim Young)
Australian singer Kylie Minogue performs during the closing ceremony of the 2014 commonwealth games at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland August 3, 2014.
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