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Wednesday, 23 October 2002
Page: 5787


Senator ELLISON (Minister for Justice and Customs) (7:08 PM) —I thank the opposition for its cooperation in relation to the Criminal Code Amendment (Terrorist Organisations) Bill 2002, which is an extremely important bill for the security of Australia. I also thank the Greens, the Democrats and Senator Harradine for their contributions to the speedy passage of this bill. Senator Faulkner outlined the rationale for the bill and the way it operates quite clearly. If the United Nations sees fit to list an organisation as a terrorist organisation, Australia needs to be able to act quickly and to put into place regulations which empower us to act in Australia's best interests. This is precisely what the bill does and why it is being treated as urgent—because of the emerging threats to Australia. The fact that this bill is in the national interest has been touched on by other senators who have spoken on it tonight. I thank them again for their cooperation. I commend to the Senate this very important and urgent bill which is in the interests of this country.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.