Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
Calls renewed for national chemical register -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

(generated from captions) live. This program is captioned

Welcome to the program. Whatever else they achieved, operations yesterday's counter-terrorism attention on the possibility certainly focused the nation's of an attack on Australian soil. last night The dramatic media headlines by a furious debate on the airwaves, and today were followed

fuelled in parts by a fracas Court yesterday. outside Melbourne's Magistrates' continued to press their case Inside that court today lawyers to have two of the men charged with organisation released on bail. belonging to a terrorist In the end bail was refused,

concern about the fear but the lawyers are expressing more trial by media - that their clients will suffer expressed even by police. a concern that's already been In another development,

were stockpiling chemicals allegations that the Sydney suspects for the manufacture of explosives for a national chemical register. have also sparked renewed calls

be practical? But would such a measure Mary Gearin reports.

As far as I'm concerned we should

bring back the death penalty.

What's he doing carrying hand guns

and allegedly firing at police?

There's fear, there's There's fear, there's anger,

suspicion. There's doubt. It's a

very dangerous thing. Comment is

fuelled by politicians. It is

fuelled by talkback commentators.

is fuelled by other commentators. fuelled by talkback commentators. It

does create an hysteria. All in all, is fuelled by other commentators. It

representing men accused it's a tricky time to be a lawyer

representing men accused of being it's a tricky time to be a lawyer

members of a terrorist organisation.

But Rob Stary believes he and his

defence colleagues haven't been

helped by comments like these,

deemed from a NSW press conference

across the nation as his clients

were in court. We were not prepared

to allow an event to occur here, so

in a very pre-emptive, coordinated

and focussed way, the two

state-based agencies and the two state-based agencies and the two and focussed way, the two

Commonwealth agencies, working clab

bratly together, have drawn the

investigation to a concluld. This

was the appropriate time to take

action and the matter is - has

culminated in the arrests you've

seen today. I was satisfied that

this state was under an imminent

threat of potentially a

terrorist act. As the Premier threat of potentially a catastrophic

outlined, involving the attempted

stockpiling of chemicals stockpiling of chemicals and outlined, involving the attempted

material that could be used in a stockpiling of chemicals and related

major explosion. There's been a

contamination process clearly

taken place. It's not appropriate contamination process clearly that's

when one looks at the notion of the

separation of powers or those

principles and the role of the

executive. It's simply not

appropriate for state premiers or

the Prime Minister or any other

about the thwarting of politician to tune nicically talk

about the thwarting of a politician to tune nicically talk

catastrophic terrorist attack. That

was not borne out firstly in the

nature of the charges that my

clients faced in Melbourne. Do you

think it's jeopardised their

of getting a fair trial? It is fair think it's jeopardised their chances

to say that my view is they've been

irrep probably damaged. It is

inconceive age they could get a

trial in the foreseeable future. inconceive age they could get a fair

Rob Stary is also the President of

the criminal defence lawyers

association. His Melbourne-based the criminal defence lawyers

clients have been charged with

directing a terrorist organisation

or being members of one. And he

believes they've been unfairly

included in chen tri about the

Sydney suspects. They've been

charged with planning a terrorist

attack. In Victoria also, Premier

Steve Bracks had his say. I think

the public can feel assured that

identified and disrupted. this particular threat has been

identified and disrupted. Today a this particular threat has been

spokeswoman for the Premier said Mr

Bracks is well ail wear the matter

will be determined by the courts.

A ment where a politician says,

"There's a real danger. We've

averted it. We've found these

people." Something like that that

suggests these are the people

implies they must be guilty. Now,

the politician isn't actually

that. It's problem by not what was the politician isn't actually saying

really meant. But there's a concern

in law that maybe

in law that maybe the jury would really meant. But there's a concern

affected. They'll be getting a fair in law that maybe the jury would get

trial with the presumption of

innocence. What was provided

yesterday was information to the

public on a very serious matter and

some very serious charges that are

being laid against individuals.

We are not in trial. I make the

point that I made earlier. This

trial will be a long, long way off

and that gives a chance for

gives a chance everything to settle down. That

everything to settle down. That gives a chance to end the

possibility of things being

prejudicial. I'm finding this

terrorism report just getting

somewhat hysterical. It is just

allegations at this moment. In

allegations at this moment. There

were no bombs in actual production

-- Wooh, I wouldn't agree with that.

How can you exaggerate this when

How can you exaggerate this when the police, not the politicians, the police are

police, not the politicians, the police are saying they foiled a

major terrorist attack? Long-time

Melbourne broadcaster Neil Mitchell

says public interest justifies the

level of interest but sees how the

juries in the case might be

influenced. I hope not but I think

any discussion has that potential

and you've got to balance that

against the public benefit and the

public need to discuss it. Politic commentary aside,

public need to discuss it. Politic commentary aside, this image of a

group of the accused supporters

yesterday has created its own

problems. I've heard things like

this in my life. I don like to see

this in cause. I'm with you and I

agree entirely. About four or five

of them picking on one man, hardly

the Australian way, endeavouring to

kick him in the head. The sight of

that was hideous. Of course it is

unhelpful and nothing to do with that was hideous. Of course it is unhelpful and nothing to do with

unhelpful and nothing to do with our clients and their case or merits or

otherwise of their case. It's an

otherwise of their case. It's an unhappenful process. A Melbourne

magistrate described the

magistrate described the prosecution case as presented in court so far

case as presented in court so far as "vague and a working progress"

"vague and a working progress". Prosecutors will try to establish

that the Sydney suspects were

that the Sydney suspects were trying to stockpile chemicals similar to

those used in the London bombings.

The focus on these chemicals prompted

The focus on these chemicals prompted liberal backbencher and

former police officer Jason Wood to

refew his call for a national

register for those who have access

to specific and dangerous chemical,

biological and radiological

substances. If you undertake a

substances. If you undertake a check on any person you wouldn't know if

they've got a licence to process

explosives and this is right across

the country. So it is fundamentally

important when terrorists are getting hold of

important when terrorists are getting hold of explosives and

chemicals that investigators know

who has what. It is crazy that they

actually some how relying on

actually some how relying on falling over this information. They need it

and they need it now. Homeland

Security expert Anthony Bergin is

not so sure. I would urge some

caution in moving to a very

draconian regime of registrations,

permits, ASIO background checks, et cetera.

permits, ASIO background checks, et cetera. Acetonone and peroxide are

highly available products. For hair

breach and also nail polish. It

could turn into a regulatory

nightmare. Unless we carefully

nightmare. Unless we carefully think through what sort of rauj is

appropriate. As the ramifications appropriate. As the ramifications of this week's raids appropriate. As the ramifications of this week's raids continue to play

out, the 18 accused men must now

wait and trust in the court system.

It will be a difficult trial. There

will be a lot of media focus. But

the legal process floip can deal with that.