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Government gag on Senate debate an outrage: Greens.



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Kerry Nettle

Australian Senate Australian Greens Senator for NSW

media release

Government gag on Senate debate an outrage: Greens

5.12.05

Debate on one of the worst pieces of legislation in Australia’s history will be reduced to six hours, Greens Senator Kerry Nettle said today.

The government guillotined speeches on the Anti-Terrorism Bill (No.2) 2005 today and have restricted debate on the bill tomorrow to three and half hours.

“This is an outrage. There is little democracy left in the Parliament with the actions of the government this week,” said Senator Nettle.

“How can we properly consider the legislation and almost one hundred amendments in the space of only three and half hours? Seventy-four of those amendments are from the government that’s as little as 2.38 minutes per

amendment.

“The government’s attack on the democratic processes of the Senate mirror the terrorism laws themselves.

“Detention without charge and trial and new sedition laws which attack free speech are being rammed through the Parliament with virtually no debate.

“The government is removing the people’s rights with no debate by the people’s representatives allowed.

“In the past terrorism legislation has taken days or even weeks to debate. The Senate debate on the two ASIO bills in 2002 and 2003 took six days. Menzies allowed 15 days on the bill to ban the Communist Party, but debate on these worse laws merely a few hours.”

For more information: Kristian Bolwell 0411 638 320