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Wednesday, 9 November 2016
Page: 2260

Senator LEYONHJELM (New South Wales) (09:53): Attorney, I would have to question your assumption or your assertion there. We are talking about detaining people without trial. It is a very, very serious thing. The circumstance under which people could be detained without trial under preventive detention orders at the moment is that a terrorist act is considered to be imminent, and there is a 14-day period in the current law. What we are talking about here is amending the law so that, instead of it being imminent, it is reasonably likely and could occur, and the same 14 days are applied. I am not suggesting that under all circumstances that might not be appropriate, but it seems to me that this is a substantive change—that is, we are lowering the bar from 'is imminent', which is rather definite, to 'could occur'. Wouldn't you agree that is fairly substantive?