The state’s upper house has voted against giving police officers new dispersal powers in a bill to repeal the offence of begging.
The bill brought on by the government last year, after it was first mooted by the Greens, sought to remove the offence from the Police Offences Act.
This was after a person appeared in Hobart’s Magistrates Court on a number of begging offences.
In removing the offence, the government wanted to enhance the powers police officers had to encourage a person to move on if they deterred people from visiting a business or a public facility.
If police determined a person was exhibiting intimidating or harrassing behaviour in a place and did not comply with a direction to move on, they would be arrested for this – but not for begging.
Labor members did not vote against this clause in the House of Assembly, but did so with a number of independent members in the Legislative Council.
Nelson independent MLC Meg Webb labelled the clause appallingly hypocritical and discriminatory.
Police Minister Mark Shelton urged Labor support the move-on clause when the bill returned to the lower house.
This clause does not have the support of the Greens.
Parliament will sit again on October 13.