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Thursday, 12 August 2004
Page: 26502

Senator LUDWIG (1:57 PM) —The opposition does not support this amendment. The question of penalty was one that we considered closely; indeed, it was raised by the shadow minister in the other place. On balance we are prepared to accept that there is justification for a more serious maximum penalty than that which applies under state and territory consorting offences. That is because the stringent elements in this offence, which are absent from consorting offences, mean that it applies to more serious behaviour. Also, the opposition is satisfied that the investigative powers that will be available if this penalty is maintained, such as those under the surveillance devices regime—which, hopefully, we might get to in the next sitting period—are appropriate, given the terrorist-related nature of the conduct being targeted.