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Wednesday, 23 October 2002
Page: 5782


Senator IAN MACDONALD (Minister for Forestry and Conservation) (6:50 PM) —I move:

That the provisions of standing order 111 not apply to the Criminal Code Amendment (Terrorist Organisations) Bill 2002.

I table a statement of reasons justifying the need for this bill to be considered during these sittings. I seek leave to have the statement incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The statement read as follows

CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT (TERRORIST ORGANISATIONS) BILL 2002

Purpose of the Bill

The Criminal Code Amendment (Terrorist Organisations) Bill 2002 will amend the Criminal Code so that regulations made from the commencement of this Act specifying organisations for the purpose of the definition of terrorist organisation in Division 102 take effect in accordance with section 48 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

The bill will also ensure that the existing regulation specifying Al Qa'ida/Islamic Army as a terrorist organisation takes effect on 21 October 2002, the date the regulation was notified in the Gazette.

The Criminal Code currently provides that regulations specifying organisations as terrorist organisations do not come into effect until after the end of the Parliamentary disallowance period.

Division 102 of the Criminal Code contains a number of offences relating to terrorist organisations. These offences include directing activities of a terrorist organisation, membership of a terrorist organisation, recruiting for a terrorist organisation and providing training to, or receiving training from, a terrorist organisation.

Terrorist organisations for the purposes of Division 102 are organisations that are engaged in, preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of a terrorist act or organisations specified in regulations. Organisations may be specified in regulations if the Minister is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the organisation is identified in a United Nations Security Council decision relating to terrorism and that the organisation is engaged in, preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of a terrorist act.

Reasons for urgency

Urgent amendments to the Criminal Code are required to ensure that regulations specifying terrorist organisations take effect immediately on notification in the Gazette in accordance with section 48 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

This will enable immediate action to be taken by law enforcement authorities against specified terrorist organisations, including any terrorist organisation believed to be responsible for the Bali bombings on 12 October 2002.

(Circulated by authority of the Attorney-General)

Question agreed to.