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Thursday, 12 August 2004
Page: 26503

Senator GREIG (1:59 PM) —by leave—I move Democrat amendments (2) and (3) on sheet 4399:

(2) Schedule 3, item 3, page 4 (line 9), omit “3 years”, substitute “6 months”.

(3) Schedule 3, item 3, page 4 (line 29), omit “3 years”, substitute “6 months”.

As I have already made clear in my second reading speech, we Democrats unequivocally oppose the proposed new offence of associating with a terrorist organisation. We maintain that opposition and we will be voting against the bill. However, we know that the bill is likely to be passed despite our opposition and it is on that basis that we are now seeking to reduce the penalties which apply to that offence. Democrat amendments (2) and (3) will reduce the penalty from three years to six months. This responds directly to a recommendation made by AMCRAN in its submission to the Senate committee, and it is an attempt to reduce the impact of what is an incredibly problematic and draconian offence. It is important to remember that this offence does not target suspected terrorists or members of terrorist organisations. It applies to those who may come into contact with such individuals or organisations. This is not an offence that we believe should be punished by up to three years imprisonment.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Lightfoot)—The allotted time for this debate has expired. The question is that Democrat amendments (2) and (3), by leave taken together, be agreed to.

Question negatived.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Anti-terrorism Bill (No. 2) 2004 reported with amendments; Anti-terrorism Bill (No. 3) 2004 reported without amendment; report adopted.

Senator Bartlett —Mr Acting Deputy President—

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Lightfoot)—Senator Bartlett, unless you are on a point of order, there is no debate because the time for debating the bills has expired.

Senator Bartlett —I appreciate that. To assist the Senate, via a point of order, to ensure maximum time for debate on the next bill, I simply seek to ensure the Democrats' opposition to the bills is recorded in Hansard.