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Govt and Dems gag freedom of speech on freedom of speech: Hill

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M ED IA RELEASE M SE N A T O R ROBERT HILLL E A D E R O F T H E O P P O S IT IO N IN T H E S E N A T E S H A D O W M IN IS T E R F O R F O R E IG N A F F A IR SWednesday, December 4Canberra109/91GOVT AND DBMS GAG FREEDOM OF SPEECH ON FREEDOM OF SPEECH: HILLThe Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Senator Robert Hill, today said the Senate's all-night sitting was the result of the Hawke Government and the Australian Democrats gagging freedom of speech on legislation which itself gags freedom of speech."The Government and the Democrats combined in the Senate on Tuesday to guillotine debate on the Political Broadcasts and Political Disclosures Bill," Senator Hill said."This forced the Senate to restrict debate on this very complex and important legislation until the end of sitting today."It is appalling that the Senate has been given so little time to debate legislation which involves issues of fundamental importance to Australian society."The legislation would place massive restrictions on the ability of political parties, groups and individuals to express their views and policies to the community."The Government wants to restrict freedom of speech because the ALP is broke and has no money to pay for political advertisements."And because it can't afford to pay, it wants to stop all other parties and groups from advertising in all State and Federal elections."The Democrats, despite their often repeated claim that they would never guillotine debate, have continued their tradition of caving in to the Government."So much for 'keeping the bastards honest'."The Government and the Democrats have gagged freedom of speech on legislation which itself gags freedom of speech."(ends)Enquiries: Senator Hill or Mark Batistich on (06) 277 3170COMMONWEALTH l PARLIAMENTARY L I B R A R Y | MICAH