15 November, 2012
Australia and New Zealand extend criminal history information sharing trial
The sharing of criminal history information between Queensland and New Zealand will be extended following a successful six month trial.
Australian Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice Jason Clare and the New Zealand Minister of Justice Judith Collins have agreed to extend the six month trial due to end in December 2012 to July 2013.
The trial follows an agreement reached in January this year between the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand to improve the exchange of criminal history information for employers.
“New Zealand is our closest neighbour and that closeness brings great economic benefits, however, it also makes it easier for criminals to move between our two countries,” Mr Clare said.
Minister Clare said the trial allows Queensland and New Zealand employers to request criminal history checks on behalf of potential employees.
“The trial is progressing well and will continue to help employers to make decisions about who they hire and will protect our communities from people who may pose a risk,” Mr Clare said.
Minister Collins said the Queensland trial forms part of a wider programme of work on reciprocal information sharing to support border control and law enforcement, consistent with the free movement of people across the Tasman.
“Both Governments are working toward a more automated process and are considering how this arrangement can be extended to criminal history information requests from employers across Australia and New Zealand,” Ms Collins said.