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PM pedantic on semantics.
Australian Democrats Press Releases
Senator Lyn Allison Parliamentary Leader and Democrats Senator for Victoria Australian Democrats spokesperson for Prime Minister & Cabinet
Dated: 03 November 2005 Press Release Number: emlvlviv Portfolio: Attorney General & Justice Related: Prime Minister & Cabinet
PM Pedantic on Semantics
Democrats Leader, Senator Lyn Allison said existing laws are more than adequate to head off any terrorist threat to Australia and the Government is wasting tax payer funds to reconvene the Senate over semantics.
"The Government has called Senators and staff from all over Australia to clean up some sloppy drafting in the current act," Senator Allison said.
"If a tangible threat does exist against Australia, then the Government does not need to change the wording of legislation from the to a in order to take protective action against that threat."
"The Government already has all the powers it needs to apprehend, arrest and prosecute terrorists.
"This change merely clarifies a point of law in court and the need for it is arguable. It is not retrospective and may not even capture the current threatening action."
"Australians should question whether this is yet another scare campaign to divert criticism of the Government's draconian proposals to further threaten civil liberties."
Senator Allison said the Democrats remain opposed to the forthcoming anti-terror bills and have called on the Government to support the Democrats amendment to extend the inquiry period to 28 November.
Senator Allison yesterday wrote to state and territory premiers urging them to reject the Prime Minister's anti-terrorism bills.
"It is not terrorists who have the most to fear from these bills it is law abiding Australians who will be caught up in these new powers given to the secret police; powerless to defend themselves against unfair and unjustified detention, silenced and contained under control orders, kept in the dark about the grounds on which they are detained and with no recourse to the courts for appeal."
"No case has been made that these new laws are necessary or will be effective in fighting terrorism but a compelling case has been made for their danger to ordinary Australians."