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Monday, 21 October 2002
Page: 5461


Senator LIGHTFOOT (12:49 PM) —I agree with Senator Bolkus: it is something that we need to confront with our institutions. It is a pity that the bill has not been sufficiently supported by the opposite side to put it into legislation. The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Bill 2002 we are considering has been referred to three committees. It is unfortunate that the opposition recently moved a motion in the Senate to refer the bill again to the Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee for yet another review.

These days it is all too apparent, too painfully and tragically apparent, why we need this legislation. It is not time to play the political blame game. It is not time for an ideological war between the major parties in this place that Senator Bolkus seems to want to indulge in by his contribution here this afternoon. It is not time for the fashionable Left, or the limp-wristed academics, part of the visible fifth column in Australia, to be listened to. Nor is it time for the Left of politics in this place to withhold their support for essential legislation to give ASIO more teeth at the beginning of this the third millennium.

You cannot, with one hand tied behind your back, fight terrorism and such bipedal filth who, in their demented thought processes, wreak such havoc on the innocents, peculiarly in the name of a god. These terrorist murderers carried out the atrocities in Bali and left 103 people, mostly young Australians, missing. You cannot use democracy to fight terrorism. We do live in a democracy but that is used against us—that weapon is turned back against us. We need ASIO, ASIS and the DSD to be further armed to better combat these forms of atrocities.

For these terrorist murderers, killing seems to be genetic—it seems to be in their DNA. There can be no mitigation of, or excuse for, this unwarranted slaughter of innocent people, whether it is in Bali, New York, Afghanistan or any other part of the world. The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Bill 2002 helps to redress what is not so much an anomaly but provides an addition, in an evolutionary sense, to our protective services for this country and its citizens. I was disappointed to hear Senator Bolkus say in his contribution this afternoon that he is not going to support the legislation. Either you support this type of legislation or you do not support the full protection of our citizens in this country and overseas.

This bill helps the organisations that I have mentioned to fight these cruel anomalies that need to be redressed now. It does not need to go to another committee; it has been in limbo for too many months now. These animals—and I hasten to say that I do not know of any animals that could be as bad as these terrorist murderers—resorted to such heinous and nefarious wickedness that one could not imagine or describe. Their atrocities were of such unforgivable proportions and such depravity that I do not know how to describe these people. I cannot tell you how revolted I was when I saw the first television news of the slaughter of the innocents in Bali. To have someone in this place say that they will not support bills of this nature or amendments that will give these organisations some teeth and the tools they have requested, I find quite extraordinary. I am not going to resort to blaming the other side, nor am I going to resort to vilifying Senator Bolkus for what seems to be clearly emerging as his opposition to these amendments.

The murderers have indiscriminately taken the precious lives of the guiltless, the faultless, the unblemished and the Arcadians with cowardly stealth in the night. This bill will help to right that and redress those anomalies that have been brought about by these heinous acts of recent times. The ASIO amendment bill gives the ALP, the Greens, the Australian Democrats and the Independents the opportunity to show their abhorrence of the Bali atrocities.

Finally, I offer my condolences not just to the Kingsley football team for their great loss—the greatest single loss of any organisation in the Bali tragedy—but also to Western Australians and Australians for the needless, senseless slaughter of Australian citizens in Bali. This is not a knee-jerk reaction; this bill has fortuitously been around prior to the atrocities in Bali. I would hope that the other side does see reason and that they see the need for organisations in Australia to be provided with the resources to match those of the killers—murderers— around the world to ensure that this sort of senseless, needless slaughter is never again emulated. (Quorum formed)