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Wednesday, 11 December 2002
Page: 7702


Senator NETTLE (12:17 PM) —It is worth noting as we are discussing this amendment the extraterritorial character of the definition of a terrorist act that is referred to in this legislation, whereby, as stated in evidence given to the committee by the Federation of Community Legal Centres:

Any offence anywhere in the world that falls within the scope of that legislation could be the basis on which ASIO could seek a warrant to hold someone merely to seek information.

They go on to give an example, stating:

... a supporter of West Papuan independence in Australia who may have information about the activities of the OPM. Such a person could potentially be subject to this type of warrant and questioning regime.

They go on to give another example of somebody involved in the Kurdish independence movement.

It is worth noting at this point the scope of the sorts of people that the government is hoping to catch in this legislation. We had a lot of examples described in relation to the earlier package of terrorism legislation— people who might be involved in the independence or freedom movement in, say, East Timor or in South Africa. The examples highlighted that this legislation does allow, through that definition of a terrorist act in the previous legislation, for the scope to be thrown very widely open to people who are involved in independence movements in countries around the globe. It is worth noting at this point that they are some of the sorts of people that this legislation has the potential to impact upon in terms of an ongoing detention regime.