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Howard's new anti-terror laws won't stop terrorism.

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Australian Democrats Press Releases

Senator Brian Greig Democrats Senator for Western Australia Australian Democrats spokesperson for Attorney General & Justice

Dated: 28 March 2004 Press Release Number: 04/236 Portfolio: Attorney

General & Justice

More from Senator Brian Greig on Attorney General & Justice

Howard's new anti-terror laws won't stop terrorism

Increasing ASIO's workforce is a positive move, but further increasing anti-terrorism laws is a drastic over-reaction that will not stop terrorism.

Australian Democrats Attorney General and Justice Spokesperson, Senator Brian Greig, says this is not John Howard pursuing the security interests of the nation, but rather a desperate Prime Minister pursuing the electoral interests of the Coalition.

"It does not matter how many laws you have against terrorism, it won't stop terrorists because they don't give a damn about the law," Senator Greig said.

"The best way to undermine terrorism is to have well-resourced intelligence agencies to detect and prevent acts of terrorism and the political will to work with the international community to ensure peace, stability and democracy in foreign nations.

"These laws will not impact on terrorists, but have the ability to impact on the civil liberties of other Australians. When laws are made on the run like this, who can say how they will be used against legitimate groups in society who may disagree with a government of the future?

Senator Greig says the deeply concerning aspect of this latest raft of laws is the uncertainty surrounding who defines what constitutes a terrorist organisation if the definition is made in the absence of parliamentary protocols.

"As for not profiting from books about training with terrorists, this is a thinly veiled attempt to specifically apply to the likes of David Hicks," Senator Greig said.

"We already have laws against profiting from crime which covers films and books, as in the Mark "Chopper" Read case, so these new laws would be an unnecessary duplication," Senator Greig said.

The Democrats will closely scrutinise the laws when they come to the Senate.

Printed: 1 April 2004

Authorised by: Marianne Dickie , 16 National Cct, Barton ACT 2604.