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One more step towards a safer Australia.



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JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

THE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER AND THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL DARYL WILLIAMS 12 August 2002

ONE MORE STEP TOWARDS A SAFER AUSTRALIA

Australia has bolstered its commitment to the international fight against terrorism by formally becoming a party to the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings.

The formal instrument of accession was lodged on Friday, 9 August, and will take effect on 8 September.

The International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings is a response by the international community to terrorist attacks using bombs and other lethal devices.

In Australia, the Convention is implemented through the Criminal Code Amendment (Suppression of Terrorist Bombings) Act 2002. That Act received Royal Assent on 5 July 2002, along with four other pieces of counter-terrorism legislation, and will commence on 8 September.

The Act makes it an offence to place or detonate bombs and other lethal devices in prescribed places, such as a government facility or place of public use, with the intention of causing death, serious harm or extensive destruction likely to result in major economic loss. The offences carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

The Commonwealth Government is committed to the fight against terrorism and to protecting Australians and Australian interests from devastating acts such as we saw in the United States last September.

We have already introduced a strong package of laws to strengthen the ability of our law enforcement and security agencies to identify, prevent, deter and punish individuals and organisations responsible for committing acts of terror.

Australia’s accession to the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, is another demonstration of our commitment to the fight against terrorism.

As part of our comprehensive package of counter-terrorist activities, it underlines our strong message to those contemplating terrorist acts that such attacks are not acceptable and we will do everything in our power to stop them.

Media inquiries: Chrus Kenny (Mr Downer’s office) 0419 206 890 Carina Tan-Van Baren (Mr William’s office) 02 6277 7300 / 0419 423 965