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Tuesday, 24 February 2015
Page: 1091

National Security


Ms LANDRY (Capricornia) (14:07): My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister advise the House how revoking Australian citizenship for dual nationals involved in terrorism will strengthen our national security?


Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:08): I thank the member for Capricornia for her question, and I appreciate the pain her people have suffered in recent days as a result of Cyclone Marcia. I am looking forward to being in her part of the world very soon to see what governments state and federal and agencies state and federal are doing to restore the situation.

The highest duty of government, a duty from which this government will never rest or flinch, is the safety of the community. We will discharge that responsibility to the very best of our ability. It is more necessary than ever because there are now more than 100 Australians fighting with the ISIL, or Daesh, death cult in the Middle East; there are about 150 Australians supporting them with funding and recruiting; and our security agencies say that there are about 400 Australians who are talking about violence to our fellow Australians.

Honourable members interjecting

Mr ABBOTT: Madam Speaker?

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister has the call.

Mr ABBOTT: The inspiration for all of this is the Daesh death cult, the Islamist death cult in the Middle East, which is enjoining those who have fallen under its evil spell to take an unbeliever anywhere they find them and to kill them. That is the inspiration for this. We have seen this evil inspiration at work in the frenzied attack on policemen in Victoria. We have seen this evil inspiration at work in the Martin Place atrocity. And fully half, our security agencies believe, of those Australians fighting with the death cult in the Middle East are dual nationals.

I have a very clear message: if you are a dual citizen and you become involved in terrorism overseas, you will lose your citizenship of Australia. Britain strips terrorists of their citizenship; Canada strips terrorists of their citizenship; France strips terrorists of their citizenship; and we should also. Again I remind people of the pledge that every citizen makes to this country. It is to this country of ours 'whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey'.

It is not enough to say it; people have to mean it. It is not enough to mean it once; you have to mean it always. You have to live it. People fighting with these terrorist groups overseas have declared war on Australia. Anyone fighting for the death cult has forfeited his or her right to be considered an Australian. This is the least we can expect of our fellow Australians: not to fight against our country and its values.