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Tuesday, 8 November 2016
Page: 2214


Senator HANSON (Queensland) (19:00): I rise in support of the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2016, and I will explain why. Yes, it is a shame that 14-year-olds may be dragged before the courts on charges of terrorism and it is a shame what may happen to them, but that is the way of life and that is what has happened to our country. Many Australians are very concerned about terrorism and live in fear. Just recently a poll was taken where 49 per cent of Australians said they wished for a ban on further Muslim immigration to this country, and, of that 49 per cent, 47 per cent based that view on the fact that Muslims do not integrate. Senator Di Natale made a comment here earlier about Muslims saying how they feel marginalised and demonised and that they are afraid. I think the majority of Australians feel very afraid, because we are now seeing terrorism on our streets. People live in fear. I here from many people who say that they are afraid to go on trains or to shopping centres or sporting venues; they are in fear. We need to address this, and I do believe that we need to act with very hard leadership and say that we are not going to allow this to happen on our streets.

We talk about control orders and tracking devices. There are now over 500 Australians who are under surveillance, and the authorities are having trouble tracking them. Why is that so? Why do we have so many people like that here? These people have not come here to Australia for the right reasons. They are here to push their own agenda, their own beliefs. Senator Di Natale says that we are a multicultural nation—and, yes, we are. People have come here from different parts of this world. They have migrated to Australia for a new way of life—to leave behind terror and their way of life for a better way of life. I think that is wonderful, because Australia has been based on all the different cultures that have come here. But what has happened now is that people are coming here not to assimilate, not to integrate, not be one of us, not to abide by our culture, our laws or our way of life. They do not have respect for us. Some carry with them a hatred towards us—and that can never be accepted or allowed to happen.

It is a shame that people as young as 14 years of age could be affected by this legislation—but it is justified. Otherwise, what do we say to the family of Curtis Cheng, who was shot dead by a 15-year-old? What do we tell his family? We are now finding that younger and younger people are wanting to commit these crimes. We cannot allow that to happen. They are not children. They are people with their own beliefs and determinations. They are not a child anymore. People have to start being responsible for their actions, no matter what their age, especially when an Australian's life—I do not care how many there are; even one—may be taken by someone who does not believe in our culture or our way of life and who bears us hate in their heart—and I hate to see it.

You talk about multiculturalism and how Muslims feel offended, demonised and marginalised. When the grand mufti of Australia, Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, wrote a letter warning that to criticise even a gay hating imam is to risk inciting terrorist attacks against us, was he pulled up? Did anyone say he should not be saying that? What about his support of Sheik Shady?

In his online sermons he attacked Jews, called on God to help destroy the enemies, declared that the punishment for adulterers is stoning to death, damned Christian parties as worshippers of Satan, declared that the Australian government is oppressing Muslims and accused gays of spreading diseases through evil actions that bring evil outcomes to our society. What does Senator Di Natale have to say about that—or does he defend that?

No hatred should be accepted from anyone in this country. We are all Australians trying to live in this country in peace and harmony together. That is what I purport and that is what I will stand strongly for. We must take strong actions against these people—anyone, regardless of whether they have a religious or cultural background that opposes our way of life, must be dealt with harshly. Many other countries around the world are now feeling that—and they are attending to the problems in their own country by having these people deported. If these people are not happy in our country then please go back where you came from or go and find another country that suits your beliefs.

I have a duty to the people of Australia to ensure that they feel safe on our streets. I do not want Australia to become like other countries around the world. We talk about people's civil liberties and their rights. Their rights start with them. The majority of Australians are not under the law, they do not have tracking devices and they are not in our court system—because they abide by our laws. We have to send a clear message to other people that we are not going to accept it. That is why I support the government's legislation on this and send a clear message to those who wish to come here and disrupt our way of life.

I will be moving an amendment to this bill. The legislation states that these people will be given free legal aid. Our legal aid system is under enormous stress at the moment. I know of people in the Family Court who cannot get legal aid—they are fighting for their rights—and many who do not get it are suiciding, taking their own life. In Australia, there is no reference in any of the eligibility or assessment criteria documentation that says an applicant for legal aid in criminal matters must be an Australian citizen. I believe they should be. It is the taxpayers who are paying for this, and I think legal aid should be available to Australian citizens or permanent residents. Under our legal aid system if another person supports you, provides financial support to you or can be reasonably expected to provide you with financial help, then the means test will take this person's income and assets into account. My amendment to this bill would add: 'And there is evidence that at least one parent or guardian of the person has the means to appoint a lawyer to act for that person'. That means if a parent or guardian of that child between 14 and 17 can afford to pay for the legal costs, so they should; it is not up to the Australian taxpayer. Let's treat them exactly the same as we treat anyone else who applies for legal aid in this country. I will be moving that amendment to the bill.

There is a lot more to be said on this. As I have said, let's look at this fairly. I take into account what Senator Leyonhjelm said about this: we should have a sunset clause. The days and times are changing rapidly. Maybe we need to look at immigration—who we actually bring into Australia—as I have always said. Let's address the problem before it gets out of hand. I hear time and time again that our authorities are stretched to the limit. I hear that there is a probable attack and a possible attack. That is what we are told. We need to make sure that our country is safe, and if these people, even as young as 14, want to go out there and try to commit a crime against us and this nation, they will certainly receive the wrath of the law as far as I am concerned. Thank you.