The Greens absolutely oppose the "disgraceful" Drug Supply Prohibition Order Pilot Scheme Bill 2020. This bill creates a pilot scheme for drug prohibition orders which will apply in the Bankstown Police Area Command and the Coffs‑Clarence, Hunter Valley and Orana Mid-Western police districts for two years. Under the scheme police will be able to seek an order for a person who has been convicted of a serious drug offence. If the order is made police can stop, search and detain people without a warrant. It is clear that this is a bad bill.
"As my colleagues in the other place made abundantly clear, The Greens absolutely oppose the Drug Supply Prohibition Order Pilot Scheme Bill 2020. This bill creates a pilot scheme for drug prohibition orders which will apply in the Bankstown Police Area Command and the Coffs‑Clarence, Hunter Valley and Orana Mid-Western police districts for two years. Under the scheme police will be able to seek an order for a person who has been convicted of a serious drug offence. If the order is made police can stop, search and detain people without a warrant. It is clear that this is a bad bill. I acknowledge the work of my colleague in the other place and spokesperson for justice, David Shoebridge, who successfully amended the bill to have the scheme apply only to indictable offences. There are a lot of other reasons why The Greens oppose this bill. There are a lot of reasons why it is a bad bill.
The scheme is essentially another version of the very dangerous suspect target management program [STMP], where people are placed on a list without their knowledge and can then be subjected to unlimited searches and other oppressive police interactions. In the community of Redfern in my electorate this is of particular concern, with the young people being placed on the STMP without being informed and then being targeted without reason. They are not a suspect in any matter, but they are placed on a list and targeted. There is no substantial evidence that this has any impact on offending or community safety. There is some evidence to suggest that this kind of interaction and action by the police causes a disconnect between the police and those young people and marginalised groups damaging the long-term relationship.
I acknowledge that the Law Society of New South Wales and the NSW Council for Civil Liberties have both raised concerns about this bill. It is important to recognise the impact and problems caused by schemes such as the STMP upon young people, people of colour and marginalised groups when they are searched every day for no identifiable reason. There will be more civil cases against police, more big payouts from the public purse and mistrust of police will increase if this bill is passed. Sadly, it looks like this bill will pass. It is an indictment on the Government. While members of the New South Wales Labor Party have raised concerns about the bill, unfortunately we are seeing a bit of a pattern. That is probably not surprising because successive governments in New South Wales have taken a tough law‑and‑order approach and a war-on-drugs approach. It is not just the current Liberal-Nationals Government that has taken that approach. While Labor members in this place and the other place have expressed their genuine concerns, outrage, disgust and shock at elements of the bill, at the same time the Labor Party supports the bill. It is supporting the Government to implement more crackdown through the Drug Supply Prohibition Order Pilot Scheme Bill.
It is very clear that the police Minister is not listening to the community when it comes to their concerns around policing in this State. The people of New South Wales do not support the unchecked increase in police powers. They do not support the endless erosion of people's civil liberties. People are marching on the streets, calling for a roll back of police powers and for more support for their community—rather than just more cops. The police Minister is only listening to the Police Association and to the demands from police for more and more powers and more and more money.
The member for Balmain raised this point with me earlier. Imposing these oppressive law and order regimes on the community is like constantly patching up a hole. We do not change community behaviour or solve the challenges that create drug addictions and drive people to have addictions by increasing excessive and oppressive police powers. Practices and behaviours are changed by taking a harm minimisation approach. I do not think it is too much to ask that searches by police should be limited to circumstances where they can show they have a legitimate reason to conduct one. This legislation would allow police to stop, search and detain people without a warrant. Search warrants exist to ensure that police, with no evidence, do not unfairly target individuals. Mr Speaker, once again I ask that the Minister be called to order. It is a continuing theme when I speak.
The SPEAKER: The Minister will be quiet.
Mr David Elliott: She was talking through my speech.
The SPEAKER: I was not in the Chamber at the time.
Ms JENNY LEONG: I was not in the Chamber during the police Minister's second reading speech. Search warrants exist to ensure that police, with no evidence, are not unfairly targeting individuals. It is the job of members in this place to make sure that people in positions of power, like police officers, are held accountable for their actions. In the past few decades police have been given more and more powers. More and more public funding has been used to fight the so-called war on drugs, and it has not worked. Over the past five years drug offences are up. For most citizens in New South Wales the war on drugs is more of a danger to them than the drugs themselves. It is appalling that late tonight NSW Labor will join with the Government to pass this Drug Supply Prohibition Order Pilot Scheme Bill. It is a disgraceful bill and The Greens oppose it strongly. We have serious concerns about the impact it will have on vulnerable citizens in our community."