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Thursday, 12 December 2002
Page: 7844


Senator NETTLE (10:38 AM) —The Greens are in a position to support these amendments to make it clear that the Inspector-General may be present during any questioning and detention regime. We recognise that the so-called safeguard of having the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security there is a mechanism to provide some redress for people who are subject to this questioning and detention regime and warrant. We do not believe that it goes anywhere near far enough in terms of providing people with access to a range of different realms through which they can have their detention regime reviewed and through which they can make complaints about the way in which they were treated.

We have talked about the vulnerability of people who will be caught in this detention regime and we need to recognise that it is those people who are most vulnerable who need the easiest avenues, the avenues they are most familiar with, to seek redress for the way in which they have been treated, to ask questions and to be able to appeal the way in which they have been treated. People are not familiar with the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security as a body they can appeal to. The Inspector-General is not on the same level as the Ombudsman, who I recognise is a part of this legislation as well. The Inspector-General is not on the same level as the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, from which intelligence organisations are exempt, and so there is no opportunity for people caught under this legislation to appeal on a human rights basis through the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. We will support these amendments as taking one step in a journey of accountability and safeguards that has not been taken with regard to this legislation by either the government or the opposition.