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Thursday, 3 December 2015
Page: 9937


Senator McKIM (Tasmania) (21:46): The Greens will be supporting this amendment. It is a classic case of double jeopardy. I mean, come on. We understand that this retrospectivity is limited. We understand very clearly the circumstances under which it will be applied. But this is double jeopardy, let's face it. Double jeopardy under most legally-accepted definitions is either trying someone twice or punishing someone twice for the same offence. So here we go again, the national security lock step is in place here: Labor is absolutely petrified of being painted weak on national security out in the electorate by a government that has shown a propensity to do that over a number of years now, falling into lock step again and backing in a clear and unambiguous case of double jeopardy or laws that provide unambiguously for double jeopardy. This is a sad, sad day for the Senate and the Parliament of Australia. We very proudly support Senator Leyonhjelm's amendment but I do offer the same caveat that I did before, in relation to his previous amendment, which is that even should this have passed it still would have made only a very, very bad piece of legislation slightly less bad.

We understand that someone to whom this retrospectivity may be applied would likely still be incarcerated under the provisions of this bill. So what we are doing again here is creating a situation where someone who has committed a terrorist act is going to come out of a lengthy prison term in Australia and they are going to be immediately—or very close to immediately—deported back to the country that they have their other citizenship in. Most likely it will be a country where they will be free to pick up their guns, pick up their bombs, and go to cities like Paris, Beirut and Bamako and commit more terrorist acts. You guys here are acting to make the world a more dangerous place and a more dangerous place for Australian citizens. You are placing our people at higher risk here than they otherwise would be if they were charged and convicted in Australia as they should be. This legislation not only erodes the rule of law, it not only implies a lack of trust in our judicial system but it is actually counterproductive. It exposes Australians to more risk and more danger of being killed or wounded than otherwise would be the case.