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Counter-terrorism bill tabled -

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(generated from captions) and much negotiation, After more than 80 drafts

counter-terrorism Bill the Government's sweeping new has been made public at last late this afternoon. after being tabled in Parliament by his own backbench It came after the PM was forced to agree to last-minute changes for the bill. in order to win their support until the end of this month A Senate committee will now have to investigate the legislation. to make it law by Christmas. But John Howard is determined from Canberra. Dana Robertson reports have finally agreed The states might counter-terrorism bill, to his sweeping but this morning, the doubters in his own ranks. the PM still had to win over At a special joint party room meeting, the backbench approved the laws, but not before eliciting significant concessions. As a result of five meetings with the Attorney-General stretching over 12 hours during the last few weeks, the most recent of them this morning, I think we have achieved that balance. The changes will mean:

A much narrower definition of the circumstances in which praising a terrorist act might be the basis of a criminal liability. The Attorney-General also acknowledged the possibility of further change when he tabled the 137-page bill in parliament this afternoon. I will undertake to conduct with my department a review of the sedition offences. The Bill ensures that we are in the strongest position possible to prevent new and emerging threats to stop terrorists carrying out their intended acts. I don't like the fact that we have to do this. I don't like it at all. In many ways, it's as distasteful to me as it is to the most rampant civil libertarian in the country, but we are living in different times. The Government's determined to pass the new counter-terrorism legislation by the time parliament rises on 8 December. But things moved a little faster for the security ammendment that the PM proposed yesterday. It's become law already, after gaining approval of a recalled Senate this evening.

The committee has considered the

Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005 and agreed

to it without amendments. The

minister Senator Ellison. I move

that the report being adopted.

Those against say no, I think the

ayes have it. Arriving for work this morning,

some senators were cynical about the Government's motives. I do think it's a stunt. I think it's a way of diverting attention from industrial relations legislation. It is an abuse of the office of Prime Minister. And this evening, their view hadn't changed. Bob Brown was scathing of the Government's refusal to get specific about the nature of the latest threat.

Those against say no, I think the ayes have it. Why is this

manipulation of public opinion

through selective leaks occurring?

Because the industrial relations

Bill is in the House of

Representatives on the same day.

What a disgusting Government this But terrorism experts aren't afraid to put forward their own theories. Clive Williams

believes Melbourne and Sydney may be on the terrorist radar. Mention was made about the Australian Stock Exchange in Melbourne and also a suburban rail station. It's believed the intelligence that prompted the new laws could have come from interrogations after ASIO and Federal Police raids on homes in Sydney and Melbourne four months ago. One suspect has allegedly trained with the outlawed Pakistan-based terrorist group, Lashkar-e-Taiba. The allegation is that one person was training with LET in Pakistan.

The Prime Minister has all but confirmed the threat is home-grown. The concerns we have are not totally related to matters distant from Australia. Which could mean the new powers get used sooner rather than later. Dana Robertson, Lateline.