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(generated from captions) and Prime Minister John Howard. First to Canberra,

Thank you for your time. Pleasure.

You're certainly scaring Australia

today whether you intended to or

not? I didn't set out to scare

anybody Ray. It's a question of,

you're damned if you do and you're

damned if you don't. We have, over you're damned if you do and you're

the past few days, received some

specific information from

intelligence and police sources

about a possible terrorist attack.

It's information that I have fully

shared with the leader of the

Opposition. And after consulting

all six State Premiers yesterday,

terrorism legislation we decided to alter the existing

to substitute

the legislation which says in order

to prove a charge, you have to

prove and establish preparation for

a specific terrorist act with a

more general pro vision, providing

for a terrorist act. I know that

sounds pedantic. It sounds legal?

I'm sorry, but in order to

prosecute people, you have to do it

legally and have the law on our

side. Does that make us safer

tonight if that's passed tomorrow?

The reason we've passed it through

the house of representatives, is

that we've been told by our law enforcement agencies and I'm

satisfied on the basis of the

information that I have, that

passing this law, making this

change would enhance the capacity

of the law enforcement agencies to

deal with the situation. I can't

guarantee that any particular thing

is going to happen. I can't go into

the detail of the information I

have. I understand. Why haven't you

felt the need to change the alert,

the terrorist alert system and kept

it as it always has been? Medium,

we might be advised any moment to

change that. But medium covers in a

sense, the current contingency, the

current situation which is that a

terrorist attack is possible. So we

could be advised any moment? Yes,

but you don't... I mean, this is a

very difficult balancing act. On

the one hand, we have to tell the

public why we're changing the law.

But on the other hand, if I go into

all the details of what I've been

given, I will prejudice the

operations and the security

services and the police. I'm sure

your viewers understand that. I

understand that. Are we in any more your viewers understand that. I

danger tonight than we were at the

weekend? Let me put it this way. I

have information tonight that I

didn't have at the weekend. And

that information concerns me and

that information has been shared

with the Labor Party. And in

general terms of the State Premiers

and has caused us to change the

law. That means that we are doing

everything we can, based on the information we have to

information we have to protect the everything we can, based on the

comuem. You know of course that

everything in politics is about

timing. Is it just coincidental

that the timing of the rush

announcement came at a time when we

have two of the most important

pieces of legislation in

Parliament? Absolutely. Absolutely.

Those who would argue that, and I

know you're not suggesting in some

way the police and the security

services are doing the Government's

bidding. What happens with these

situations is when security

services and police get information,

and a loft the police information

would have been shared with State

Governments. They bring it to

people in my position and the Attorney-General's position, tell

us the information. We discuss it

with them. And in this particular

case, advice was given that the

situation would be strengthened if

we could make this amendment. I

don't want to put it any more

strongly than that. But it is

purely coincidental. If I made the

calculation that I would put it off

a few days so people won't accuse

me of that, and something was to

happen, people would have every

right to condemn me unconditionally.

But you're saying tonight, don't

panic, but let's keep our fingers

crossed? I'm saying that the

Government is doing - in

co-operation with the security

agencies and the police - and also

on this occasion, with the

co-operation of the Opposition,

everything we can to protect the

community. All right Prime Minister,