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Thursday, 9 February 2012
Page: 685


Ms ROXON (Gellibrand—Attorney-General) (12:04): I would like to thank all of the members of the chamber who have spoken on this bill. It has been supported by both sides of the House. In fact, all of the speakers have indicated their support: the members for Stirling, Makin, Cook, Fowler, Mitchell, Melbourne Ports, Cowan, Hughes, Kooyong, Solomon and Fadden. I think this is an indication that across both sides of parliament people understand that the Nuclear Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 will make an important contribution to Australia's fight against terrorism and misuse of weapons of mass destruction. It will also demonstrate to the international community that Australia is serious about cooperating with other nations to defeat threats to international peace and security.

Nuclear terrorism, of course, is a horrifying thought, as many of the speakers have reflected. A nuclear terrorist attack can kill millions, lay waste to cities and the environment and cause grave social and economic dislocation. We hope that the world never sees the day, but in today's security environment we should never discount the possibility of a nuclear terrorist attack occurring. The bill will put in place offences that will allow Australia to prosecute nuclear terrorists. It will also facilitate cooperation with other nations in the fight against nuclear terrorism and the bill forms part of a broad effort by the international community to fight nuclear terrorism, including the fact that it will allow Australia to ratify the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. This is a significant piece of legislation which sends a strong message to the international community and would-be nuclear terrorists.

Of course, it is important for us always to remember to distinguish between this bill and debates which are inevitable in the community about uranium exports and nuclear power. Whatever your views might be on those issues, we can all unite—as has been evidenced by speakers in this chamber—around the proposition that we should be part of an effective international legal regime to fight nuclear terrorism. I commend the bill to the House.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Ordered that this bill be reported to the House without amendment.