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Tuesday, 10 December 2002
Page: 7610

Senator NETTLE (8:12 PM) —I rise to speak about these amendments. It is pleasing to see that the government has taken on board the suggestion from the Legal and Constitutional References Committee in proposing these amendments.

This alteration was suggested to the committee by one of the many Islamic groups which appeared before it to talk about the impact of this legislation on their community in particular. This was one of the suggestions that they put forward. They put forward other suggestions that related to the way in which frisk searches should be carried out and to where ordinary and frisk searches could occur—that is, whether they occurred at or near a premises at which a warrant was being carried out. They also put forward other suggestions as to the way in which those searches occurred—that is, whether they occurred in view of all people present at those premises. So there were a number of amendments that the Islamic community suggested, in particular, because they were well aware of the potential use of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Bill 2002 and the impact that it could have on their particular community.

I acknowledge that the government has taken up one of the many suggestions that were put forward by the Islamic community when discussing their concerns about the way in which the implementation of this bill could directly impact on their community and add to the level of fear that already exists within that community about them being singled out in relation to these issues.