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Hello and welcome to Meet the Press.

A specific terror threat grabs

centre Page stage from work reforms

and race horses. The Government has

received specific intelligence and

police information this week ,

which gives cause for serious

concern about a potential terrorist

threat. Today Attorney-General

Philip Ruddock joins us and

business comes to the defence of

the revolution in how Australians

will be hired, fired and paid.

But first, what the nation's press

is reporting this Sunday November 6.

Last week the PM flanked by the

Attorney-General stopped the nation

in its tracks with his revelation

that there was specific information

of a potential terror threat.

Welcome back Philip Ruddock. Well

on Thursday the parliament passed

the amendment that you and the PM

asked for. Have there been any

arrestsit? No. But arrests we

wouldn't necessarily expect because

of the passage of the the measure.

The important point to remember is

that authorities needed to be able

to act if there was information

about a terrorist attack a

potential terrorist attack but

where you didn't know the detail as

to where and when it might occur

and that is an important measure .

The information we had suggested it

would be a skierable to have it in

place now. That doesn't mean in any

way that I or the PM influence

operational issues. They are matter

has are dealt with independently by

the police and other authorities.

And whatever will happen, will

happen at an appropriate time if at

all. If at all? If at all. They

have to form a judgment. Sense of

urgencyy? No, the important point

is they needed to have the capacity

which they have now have. We have

at no time suggested that we run

operational issues. We don't. And

the point I make they have the

capacity to act, that's what they

needed. And the operational rierbs

in their hands There's a report

today that there's a new terror

group, not the ones that the media

were naming that had their places

raided back in June, these are sons

and daughters, Australian-born sons

and daughters of Muslim extremists.

Is this the group that the

Government has in mind? I don't

comment on these matters but what I

can say is typecasting is never

helpful. And to suggest that there

is a particular group in and you

characterise nit particular way

isn't helpful either. All of our

measures are based on conduct and

conduct be undertaken by people

born here, people of Anglo Saxon

backgrounds people who have

migrated here and our tests don't

relate to characteristics of

individuals, but rather to the

conduct in which the that are

engaged It's hard to deny they're

motivated by a an extreme version

of Muslim? That can be one factor.

The point I make in relation is

that if people are influenced by

any philosophy, any religion to

conduct themselves in a way which

poses a risk to others they need to

be dealt On Thursday the minor

parties were far from convinced of

need for the technical amendment to

the Terror Act. Greens Senator

Kerry Nettle believed there was

already blenty of legal afteruse

available. So when the PM standss

up and says "Trust me, trust me, I

need you to come in here and I need

you to pass this legislation,

because my security forces don't

have the power right now to do

that," well I say rubbish. Absolute

rubbish. Well, attorney, she

obviously passionately believes

that the amendments to the cieplgs

Act that were already a response to

the terror threat were more than

enough to deal with any potential

terror threat? Well she wasn't

given the advice I was. And the

advice is very clear. It comes from

the people who are responsible for

proskueltling - prosecuting these

matters, when the director of

public prosecutions tellous that in

order to pursue a particular matter

you need to have evidence that

tells you as to the time and place

when the event may occur, rather

than being able to deal with a

situation where people are

gathering materials and have in

mind a plan but not one about which

you have sufficient details, but

where you ought to be able to act

you obviously come to a view that

the law needs to change. That's the

reason for the change, it goes from

the specific act to an act and that

ought to be obvious to anybody as

being a sensible extension. Two

major newspapers, the 'Sydney

Morning Herald' on Friday and the

the 'Australian' yesterday have

carried stories that State police,

the NSW police and the Victorian

police, are concerned that all the

work they've been doing to quote

one source in the 'Australian'

yesterday, "They're monitoring and

their surveillance could be

jeopardised by the fact that you

and the PM have spoken out in the

way that you have." to quote the

'Australian', one source says that

there was blood on the floor and

disagreement between the Federal

and State agencies. Is this - could

this not jeopardise our ability to

confront and fight terrorism? Look

obviously if you draw to attention

of particular groups that they may

be under investigation, they take

steps to protect themselves. And

that is something that's very much

in your mind. We had to weigh these

matters up. We met with all of the

partys at a Federal level,

commissioner of police, the head of

the security agency, the Director

of Public Prosecutions.... between

the fedz and the States It is

always the case that people will

bring a to bear a different

judgment as to how you should deal

with these issues but when in a

position that matters that you are

aware of may not be able to be

pursued, you know that you can

only go into the parliament with an

explanation and that explanation

was checked very carefully as to

what we could say and it had to be

sufficient to convince not only

members of parliament but also the

opposition, and the Premiers, that

this was an appropriate course to

take. So from your answer there,

you're not exactly denying that

there was concerns at State level? No, there were concerns at our

level. I was concerned. What we are

doing or what we did was a very

different act to what is normally

expected. There had to be to be a

reasonable explanation and we had

to think it through very carefully

and which did, we consulted with

the relevant officers as to what we

could say because we were conscious

that people would have another view.

Coming up, the Human Rights

Commissioner says new terror laws

police State. will Ten turn Australia into a

You're on Meet the Press with the

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock.

And welcome to the panel, Michelle

Gratten the 'Age' and Philip Clark

Radio 2GB. On Thursday the

Attorney-General brought the final

version of the anti-terror bill

into the parliament. It was the

result of significant changes after

consultation with the States and

the Government's own backbench. But

on Monday the Human Rights

Commissioner, John von Doussa was

still expressing grave concerns for

our civil liberties. The defining

characteristic of a police State is

that the police exercise power on

behalf of the executive in the

conduct of the police cannot be

effectively challenged to the justice system of the State.

Regrettably, it would seem that

that is exactly what those laws are

proposing. What exactly is the

case for these new laws, they

represent a radical new change in

the way our society operates and

our freedoms. What acts or

individuals haven't been able to be

picked up by the current laws, what

acts of terrorism haven't been able

to be foiled by the new laws? Well

the important point I think is to

look at what is happening and we've

seen in the United Kingdom, we've

seen in other parts of Europe, that

people are engaged in terrorist

acts, matters that have to be dealt

with. The warnings for Australia is

that a terrorist act here is

feasible. And that's what a medium

alert is about. We need to be

prepared for such eventualitys.

We've been exercising in relation

to these matters. We look at the

powers that are in place in places

like the United Kingdom, in various

parts of Europe, and a number of

those measures seem to us to be

sensible matters to adoplt here.

They're unusual, but we think they

are appropriate response. The

reference to a police state is -

Prus campy headlines but when you

look at the measures we're talking

about they're measures that are in

place in places like the United

Kingdom. You can be on your way

home from work, be disdarp

disappear, that's brand new thing

for Australia. What's the need for

them. We've caught and prosecuted

a home grown terrorist already. Why

are these new lawings necessary.

The Government haven't really made

a case for it? Yes we. Control

orders are being sought in two

circumstances. In a situation where

you have an imminent terrorist

attack or you've had a terrorist

attack and you are trying to manage

the issue in terms of explosions in

multiple places and in order to be

able to preserve evidence and to

ensure that it's not destroyed, in

order to be able to galter together

those people you believe may be

engaged in planning and

implementing a terrorist attack you

are able to detain people for up to

14 days with the capacity for

judicial review. Now that in

shorthan, that's what the maurpb is

about and it's been proposed by

the kpwelt but it has to be

implemented by the Commonwealth and

States in ordertor it to be able to

orplt. The other matter is for

control orders and that's to look

at a longer period of time in

relation to people who may be of

concern, they may have trained with

terrorists organisations and you

want to be able to know where they

are. Who they're contacting and if

it is reasonably necessary to be

able to ensure that the community

is not exposed to a terrorist aact

or that those skills that people

have obtained are used a court can

order that people have to meet

certain conditions But isn't one

reason for control orders simply

that you don't have the labour for

undercover surveillance which in

fact might yield much more useful

information about networks and

contacts than the more obvious

control orders where you've given

the person notice that he's closely watched? That's one of the

arguments I've advanced. It's a

very good argument that you've

advanced but the underground surveillance might be more

effective, surely? Covert

surveillance can be very effective

but when you have an organisation

that has just on 900 people and

you've got to put together teams

that take for 24 hours a day, seven

days a week monitoring, I say 30,

my UK counterparts say 36 people

But we shouldn't be stinting in

this area,? You don't train people

to undertake these sorts of tasks

and prepare them in a matter of

days. We have committed very

considerable fund to growing our

security organisation to give it

enhanced capacity but we're not

going to be able to achieve it

overnight. It's going to take to

get ASIO to 1800 people another

four years of work, recruiting

people, training people, preparing

them, those sorts of skills just

aren't produced as it were in the

work place. But would that be the

ideal way to do it, surveillance

rather than control orders? Look,

my view is that in relation to

these sorts of issues, you have to

look at what is prak ical and I've

made it very clear that when you

can look at monitoring, two or

three people possibly through your

security agency you may get additional capacity through what

skills the police have, but when

talking tens rather than hundreds,

and potentially there Ma be more

many more people involved, I can't

be specific about the numbers I think it bripbs home to you the

enormity of the task It's not going

to be judicial review that's

normally used. When we use the

phrase judicial review, we mean a

review that is based on all the

merits and all the evidence that

can be brought and cross-examined

and tested. That's not what we're

talking about here. It's a limited

form of judicial review and in that

sense a lot of judges would say

that's not judicial review at all?

Where sit limited? it's only

limited when judicial review is

being undertaken by what we have

included in the national security

information legislation and that

deals with the question of how you

protect security-related

information for the purposes of

prosecuting a person and I think

it's perfectly obvious that if quer

you're going to expose a person who

is given human intelligence, if

you're going to expose the

techniques you use to gather your

evidence finishing you're going to

expose your international liaison

with other organisations who don't

want it known that they're

providing information to you, you

have to protect that information

but still have it available to

pursue the court. But it is limbed because all the information

currently made available is not a

judicial review in the that a

citizen of Australia would expect

in open court?? Relation to our of

our terrorism offences those

qualifications have been included

in the national security

information legislation to ensure

that we can proceed with

prosecutions but protect

individuals who may be involved

Attorney, just going to sedition,

doesn't it seem strange that you've

signalled that ire willing to review

this legislation , in other words,

you're putting a question mark over

the de Sevilla decision laws before

they've been enacted. Would bit

better now to look at what are the

problems now and fix them up before

parliament? The issues that are

being raised essentially go to

drafting questions. It was argued

that sedition isar contain and it

hasn't been used. People will use

it to sir couple skriep free

speech? That's one of the reasons

we've god a specific provision to

protect fair comment Thanks for

being with us today,

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock and

coming uup, John Howard's work

place changes condemned by the

unions but welcome bid business.

Heather Ridout from the Australian

Industry Group joins us. The

cartoon of the week, Nicholson in

the 'Australian' has this view of

the new terror laws. An ASIO agent

tells a clutch of journalists,

don't don't ware about the new

secrecy provisions in the laws,

we'll tell you all you need to know."

You're on Meet the Press.

Parliament blew up last week with

the speaker ejecting 18 Labor MPs

after rowdy scenes and intense

passions over the most sweeping

changes since federation to the way

Australians will be hired, fired

and paid. It destroys the legacy of

hard work, of generations of

Australian workers. It undermines

the principal of fairness that

underpinned the Australian

industrial relations system for 100

years. Well joining us now the

chief executive of the Australian

industry group, Heather Ridout.

Welcome back Miss Ridout. Kim

Beazley has no doubts what these

laws will do, all bad. But does it

shock you really that the Treasury

yesterday revealed that there's

been no economic modelling of the

effects of these big changes .

After all, the Government modelled

the economic effects of the GST? I don't think we need more economic

modelling. We've had a decade of

industrial relations reform which

has yielded a along with other

changes were important improvings,

increase, more jobs for the economy.

To go to economic modelling, to put

a whole locate of assumptions in

one end and have stuff come out the

other would be a waste of public

money. Do you think that in the

sense of a lot of this framework

that's led to where we are today

will be taken away by these changes

and the reason the Government gives

for them of course is that we will

be economically better off . Why

shouldn't we have a more for that

Look at where the old systems came

from. It grow ut of federation, out

of a century of a closed economy,

high tariff protection, we had a

low immigration, a whole lot of

thing that were all about trying to

protect a system that no longer

existed. Beginning of the 21st

century, we're a global economy,

operating in Illawarra, Timbuctoo,

you're operating in a global

economy and I think industry needs

industrial regulation that's

consistent with. Also we have an indigenousing population and we

have a population that has all

sorts of different needs, working

family, carers, older parents,

older workers wanting to work

part-time towards the end of their

working career. We have a very

diverse wofrgs and I think those

who big chain, the end of the

closed economy and the more diverse

needs of the workforce and

employers is really the again sis

of the the 21st century reforms Of

all the employer groups you'res is

probably closest to the unions

traditionally. This legislation is

very harsh on the unions who are

even more excluded from work

places where that's possible. Do

you think it's too harsh in that

regard and do you think that the

unions role is just going to be

increasingly squeezed out of the

modern work place Union also still

have right to represent people, to

barg gain, to represent the workers

in the industrial commission and

before the fair pay commission. So

unions and the right to actually

assist workers to take protected

action which is a very important

right, unions will still have a lot

of rights Dunner this legislation

Do you think the less power unions

have in a modern Australian economy

the water? Unions are part of the

balances institution in our society,

and will always be about that. Only

17% of the private sector are now

unionised. I think we have to

think that the majority of, the vast majority of Australian work

places are not non-unionised. Over

the next two weeks we'll be having

2500 companies, go through sessions

briefing them on this new

legislation and the vast bulk of legislation and the vast

them do not have unions in their

work place. The whole package

proposes a radical shift in the way

that relations between the boss and

the employee are operating in Australia. People are ring me

terrified that they will walk in

there and be confronted with the

boss. They know that they've got no

power with the boss, no Australian

employees, know, if they're up

against the boss they're going to

come up ahead. That's a real fear.

It's reflected in the poll and

there's no answer to nah in

package? What - we have been

moving toward a system of

enterprise bargains since 93.

Companies are in different

circumstances than other companies

down the road or or in different

industries so we've needed a system

where you can drive the sorts of

deems at the enterprise level where

people can talk to each other

either through collective

bargaining or individual. This

legislation takes one more step

down that direction but I wouldn't

be so pessimistic about the

capacity of people to deal with

their own bosses. 40% of the

workforce now are on common law

contracts. They're dealing with the

boss every day and they're not just

managerial employee, they're lower

level,. Employees tell me this is

more and more common, you walk in

and say, "I want the job and they

say, "Here are thes can. You can

have a union to talk about that or

your accountant or whatever, but

these aretons conditions. It's take

it or leave it and el The employee

doesn't find it easy to get 10

candidates for a job. You've got

very tight labour market and that

will continue. So the boss

confronted with a person whose

skills he needs, whose capability

he or she needs. That person cannot

have their rights taken away unless

it is specifically written into the

agreement, that person has 7 days

to go and get advice about that

agreement. So there are a lot of

protections and frankly I think we

will not see a lot of change

straight off through this

legislation. In some years before

we start to see this unfold. And by

then the economy will have moved

more towards this very globalised

state that we're almost in now But

one area where we will see changes

unfair dismiss am. Saul ezlaiing of

the ANZ Basque suggested that maybe

we're the protection on unfair diz

missal is needed is in the smaller

companies which won't be protected

anymore, the employees won't be

protected rather than larger

companies where protections will

still continue. Do you think that

there's any grounds for thinking

that people will be disadvantaged

in these smaller companies now that

they've lost these protections. We

put detailed representations to the

Labor Party and the Democrats in

the lead-up to a lot of that

legislation being put in the House.

There has been legislation there

that was a compromise on the unfair

dismissal area to create better law,

to stop speculative claims which

was still consistent with ILO

standards. Now they ris resisted

that. Vuplt we now have quite tough

legislation. In relation to small

business, again, people do not want

unsettled work places. We put 20

afts recently to the family -...

they will find they're very good

reading about the culture in

Australian work placests and

they're not all about some gasly

boss hounding a person out of their

work place. Also, under this

legislation, you cannot bun

lawfully dismissed on a range of

grounds, family reasons, pregnancy,

discrimination issues, and I

actually think that the first port

of call for close claims will be

the Industrial Relations Commission

conciliation there and we're going

to see a lot more of a Plent - and

thanks to the panel, Michelle

Gratten and Philip Clark. A

transcript of this program will be

on the web shortly. Until next week, goodbye.

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