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.
Evans says sunset clause too long -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

(generated from captions) do you think the terrorist danger

do you think the terrorist danger to Australia, as you perceive it,

justifies these sweeping new powers?

Well, the danger is real, but I

think the danger is moderate and

the danger really has to be

extreme and immediate before you

can embrace really far-reaching and

intrusive new powers that really

intrusive new powers that really are quite at odds with the kind of

libertarian, civil

liberties-respecting democratic

tradition of this country. I think

we've got to be very careful indeed

going down this particular path. It

is easy post London bombings when

we've seen another mutation of the

terrorist phenomenon and we real

lois this can be a home-grown

phenomenon where people haven't

quite been accepted in their new

world but have lost the cultural

moorings of their old. Yes, they

moorings of their old. Yes, they can constitute a risk. Yes, we probably

do have some Pope of that kind in

our society, but to see a potential

terrorist under every phlofal on

every street corner in our suburbs

is going too far and we have to be

careful about getting overexcited

about draconian laws of this time.

Do youty our Federal Government

and indeed every state Premier,

all of them Labor premiers, have

gone too far? Well, there's always

the political temptation to do too

much, rather than too little T fear

is always you'll be blamed for

is always you'll be blamed for doing too little. I think there has been

too little. I think there has been a sort of a race to embrace these

propositions, which is probably

propositions, which is probably gone a little bit further than is

necessary. I perfectly acknowledge

the need in new circumstances, new

times, new threats for new measures.

Let's get real about that and to

Iraq nice that reality. But there

sure as hell has to be multiple

sure as hell has to be multiple safe guards if you're going to go down

this path. I haven't seen the fine

print Don't think anyone has seen

the fine print of what's involved

the fine print of what's involved in these preventative detentions but I

for one would want to see judicial

safe guards every inch of the way.

If you are talking about 10 years

you might as well be talking about

280 years or 50 years. What you

280 years or 50 years. What you need is a sense of the temporariness of

these laws and really to have

governments and officials prepared

to justify them at two or three

yearly intervals and not this sort

of distance. So 10 years is far

of distance. So 10 years is far too much as far as you are concerned.

It seems like that to me. I don't

want to jump too far on the

want to jump too far on the domestic debate on this. I have been aware

from the country or immersed in the

details of it but on the basic

principles that are being argued

about it where I see it in Europe

and the US and elsewhere, I think

there's just a little bit of a risk

of being overexcited and

of being overexcited and overanxious about a risk which is real, but

basically is moderate. How do you

think a group of sober-minded Labor

premiers steeped in the same

traditions as you could come to

completely different conclusions?

Well, they're not completely

different conclusions.

different conclusions. They've

just been slightly more anxious

than I think I would have been

under those circumstances for no

doubt good political prudent

reasons, but ones that do demand

scrutiny and of the kind that wu

are now giving it or this program

is giving it. I think people have

to justify going down this

particular path and I'm not sure

that justification has been made.

You'll always get hair-raising

scenarios being sketched for you

from police agencies. I've been

there and done. That I was

responsible for ASIO and external

spy arm and indirectly spy arm and indirectly responsible for Federal Police at various

for Federal Police at various stages of my insteer yell career and you

really have have to be very, very

careful about the kind of

intelligence and insider

intelligence and insider information that comes out of these agencies,

pla particularly when it is of a

kind that can't by its nature be

made public and subject to scrutiny,

very careful, indeed. I know you

don't want to jump into the

don't want to jump into the domestic argument, but in fact you have now,

boots and all, and it is clear that

you are suggesting that federal

Labor should -- Sorry, Tony, I'm

not going any further on that. I

made my point about the basic

principles that are appear

publicable and clear the sort of

reservations that a lot of people

would have on the information

available but above that no further

comment. What is wrong with the

laws then, what are the dangers of

putting in place swoeping new

putting in place swoeping new powers like this? I've said what's wrong

with the laws, what is potentially

wrong with the laws of going down a

track which is much further than we

are ak customed to. You've got to

are ak customed to. You've got to be very careful to be able to fully

justify it. Preventative detention

is something we're all familiar

is something we're all familiar with in the war-time internment cases in

which those sort of measures were

embraced with a great deal of haste

and then repented with a lot of

shame and embarrassment there after

because of the number of people

because of the number of people they were caught up. I mean, it depends

of course on how the laws are

administered, not just what's on

administered, not just what's on the becomes, but what is done in

practice and I very much hope that

practice and I very much hope that a great deal of caution and

great deal of caution and discretion will be applied in the way in which

these laws are applied and in

particular this willprocess of one

kind or another. You would have

woken up to today's headlines

woken up to today's headlines in'The Australian' - 800 motivated for

terror attack. Only a short time

terror attack. Only a short time ago the federal police commissioner

grade the figure was more like 60

grade the figure was more like 60 to 70. Do you get the sense that

someone is beginning to exaggerate?

It's very important not to

conflate Islamist radical

conflate Islamist radical sentiments with the potential for violent

terrorism. There's a big difference

between the practice of the Islamic

religion on the one hand and

religion on the one hand and Islamic activism on the other. Within

Islamic aboutvism there's a place

for fundamentalist religious

positions and anything with a

political agenda and a further

distinction two be drawn with those

with a political agenda who are

prepared to adopt violent means to

pursue ate and those who absolutely

renounce violence. Within even

renounce violence. Within even those who embrace the possibility of

vltion there's a big difference

again between those who would only

do so in circumstances of perceived

foreign occupation and those who

would do so out of a sense of

general hostility towards the west

and all of its purposes. What I

and all of its purposes. What I fear is that there's a bit of a

disposition to run all of those

different categories together and

say that anyone who is expressing

distaste for the government or the

west and doing so from a kind of

religious perspective is a

potentially dangerous terrorist.

We've got to be very, very careful

about making those assumptions. The

numbers are quit likely to be very

small, indeed, of small, indeed, of people who

constitute a real risk to this

country, as indeed to western

European countries and else are

where in the world. Indeed there's

a theory going around today, in

a theory going around today, in fact going around recently that

Australian agencies are beginning

Australian agencies are beginning to broaden their definition of

extremism; that we are, therefore,

moving closer to a battle of

ideologies. How dangerous would it

be to get into a battle of

ideologies? Well, we're already

ideologies? Well, we're already in a sense in a battle of ideologies

between democracy and those who

would undermine democracy and

assault it through attacks on

violent civilians and it is

violent civilians and it is entirely reasonable to be concerned about

reasonable to be concerned about the possible presence in our midst of

people who embrace those extreme

people who embrace those extreme and dangerous ideas. We do have to be

cautious. We do have to have good

intelligence. We do have to put in

place counter veiling measures

within our communities that

hopefully turn people who are of an

extremist disposition into at least

nonviolent channels. We have to do

all of those things, but - and it

all of those things, but - and it is a psych lodgele can bat toll some

extent we're engijed in and every

country in the world where there is

concern about this. Again, let's

concern about this. Again, let's try and keep our bearings because in

and keep our bearings because in all of these situations, there is a

tendency to overreact and it's much

safer politically of course to

overreact than underreact. The way

these things are always perceived.

It's true of tiern unanimous

memorial but sit important to sound

the warning bells and say hang on.

I'm impressed with the chief

I'm impressed with the chief justice of Israel for example in

adjudicating the Wall case and the

Palistinian torture case a little

while ago when he says this is the

dishonest of a democracy. She

doesn't see all means as acceptable

and the ways of her enemies are not

always open before her. It's in the

nature of democracies that you do

sometimes have to fight these

battles with one hand behind your

back. If the Israelis can say that

in circumstances of the kind of

in circumstances of the kind of risk they've been confronting in the

past, I think we ought to be very,

very cautious about going too far

very cautious about going too far in these measures. Mind you these

Israelis have extraordinary powers

available to them in terms of what

they do and the people they

they do and the people they consider to be a threat. Let's go to the

London bombings now if we can

because they appear to have

because they appear to have prompted the re-think here. What are the

lessons you think Australia should

draw from the London bombings?

Well, the lesson is terrorism is

Well, the lesson is terrorism is a phenomenon that's transmuting and

changing, mutating all the time.

Having avenues of pursuit that are

unexpected and alarming and we

started out thinking that terrorism

was about the organisational master

mines in caves in Afghanistan and

then we started thinking, weing

then we started thinking, weing it's not so much maybe al-Qaeda as an

organisation but al-Qaeda as an

inspiration with franchise,

imitators, but still organised

groups. Now we're discovering that

in addition to all of that, you can

have disaffected alienated hopeless

individuals, people who are caught

in the twie lit zone, hopeless in

the sense without hope of their own

future and culturally dissior

future and culturally dissior gented but that's a problem. The fact you

can get half a dozen, seven or

can get half a dozen, seven or eight people of this kind turning up in

London in the UK where there are

literally of hundreds of thousands,

perhaps millions of people in this

potential pool doesn't mean we

necessarily with the occurrence of

sentiment that are running in the

country and the cultural

country and the cultural environment in this country, it doesn't mean

that we've got a problem likely to

be of the same magnitude. But we do

have to be careful about it. We do

have to be careful about the

have to be careful about the opinion leaders. We do have to be careful

about the mentors, the schools and

those who do potentially preach

those who do potentially preach hate propaganda. They can be extremely

influential with youngsters of this

kind and it's entirely reasonable

kind and it's entirely reasonable to be on our guard about that. But

don't let's go overbird. Don't

don't let's go overbird. Don't let's abandon every single one of the

abandon every single one of the sort of basic presets of democratic

limited government, limited police

power society because of excessive

fears. Some Islamic leaders here

and indeed in Britain have

and indeed in Britain have expressed the fear that the new power also

result in racial profile

result in racial profiling by

police. Is that a genuine fear? Well, I

Well, I I think we're already

caught up in the reality of

caught up in the reality of racial or religious profiling as much as

or religious profiling as much as it is distasteful in a sense for a

particular brand of religion or

people of particular racial

people of particular racial identity to be greated more warily than

others, the nature of the terrorist

phenomenon nonas we confront it

globally right now is primarily an

Arab Islamic phenomenon nonand it

Arab Islamic phenomenon nonand it is entirely reasonable, I think, to be

realistic about that. I mean, the

sort of extreme political

correctness that's led some of the

American law enforcement

to be sort of religious

American law enforcement authorities to be sort of religiously strip

searching 90-year-old ladies

searching 90-year-old ladies because that's part of what they've got to

do to demonstrate that they haven't

got any racial biased built into it

is absurd and this is a reality

is absurd and this is a reality that I think we can afford to be a

I think we can afford to be a little bit robust about. In that case,

bit robust about. In that case, how do you prevent the problem of further alienate

further alienating young Muslims

further alienating young Muslims who believe that they have become the

targets of these new police powers?

Well, it's a tough one and one of

the things you've got to be

the things you've got to be extremely careful about is you

extremely careful about is you don't multiply the sense of

multiply the sense of discrimination by not only passing measures that

are extremely draconian, but

applying them in a srt of terribly

sort of indifferent way being very

casual about the kind of evidence

that's required. One of the

interesting things in crisis work

interesting things in crisis work in Indonesia we discovered about the

success of the police operation

against the Jemaah Islamiah

terrorist group is they've in fact

been extremely careful in the way

they'veioused their police powers,

in terms of only detaining people

for any period of time when they've

had really hard evidence against

them. That's been an important part

of the process of creating some

political space and some community

support in which they've been able

to do their job properly. If they'd

gone overboard there or if our

police go overboard here you're

going to see a very, very

significant backlash and all of

significant backlash and all of this stuff will prove not productive but

counterproductive. We're own a

counterproductive. We're own a knive edge with this. It's got to be

carefully administered. That's why

carefully administered. That's why I and lots of people they there has

and lots of people they there has to be judicial scrutiny every inch of

the way because what that rates

amongst law enforcent officials -

and you can't always I sume that

and you can't always I sume that the junls will be wiser than anyone

junls will be wiser than anyone else - it's the objective presence

looking over people's shoulders

that's a real constraint and it is

important there be condition

straints you don't want to alienate

the communities you are trying to

get support from. On that note

we'll have to leave you. Gareth

Evans, we thank you very much for

taking the time to come in and talk

to us tonight. Thanks, Tony. A Customs patrol boat fired warning shots across the bow of an Indonesian fishing boat off the coast of the Northern Territory today. The action was part of an effort to intercept a growing number of boats plundering Australian waters. Coastal authorities say they are concerned that the increase in illegal fishing could bring new threats to Australia, including the deadly bird flu. Ann Barker reports.

It's one of the biggest operations

y ╝Whiteet to stop the growing

╝Whiteet to stop the growing number of illegal fishing bets in

Australia's northern waters. Armed

Customs and naval officers caught

four Indonesian ice boats in Arnhem