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Wednesday, 1 December 2004
Page: 36


Senator ALLISON (12:25 PM) —We are expected in this place to take on face value the evidence which gives rise to the need for cracking down on civil liberties. I want to correct the record. The minister seemed to be suggesting that the Democrats were opposed to restrictions on the use of ammonium nitrate. That is not the case. In fact, in this place we have said for some time now that it is ludicrous that this material is not traceable, that it is available very broadly. We have alerted the government to this, which we see as a very real security issue. Please, Minister, do not suggest that the Democrats have been opposed to that move. What I did question was the fact that, as I understand it—I did not have the passage of this legislation—the government can determine any substance at all to be in this category. That appears to me to be an opportunity, at least, for misuse of government powers.

But getting back to the amendments, as I said in my speech in the second reading debate we would like to introduce a sunset clause into this legislation. We think there is a good argument for a review of how necessary and how successful this has been so that the parliament can be informed about those measures that I have mentioned. Our second amendment would remove the requirement by CASA to collect fees from pilots. As I said, I think this is a cost-shifting exercise. It is a bit like the Senate being required to pay for the extra security in this place. Why are we asking pilots to pay for security? It should be a matter for ASIO. If it is important enough to be done then it should be something which the government covers through ASIO funding. I am disappointed that there is no support for these amendments. They seem to me to be sensible and certainly not outrageous given the kinds of possibilities that are inherent in this legislation in terms of civil liberties in this country.

Question negatived.

Bill agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.