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Wednesday, 9 November 2016
Page: 2273


Senator LEYONHJELM (New South Wales) (10:56): by leave—I move amendments (1) and (2) on sheet 7963 together:

(1) Clause 2, page 2 (table item 5), omit the table item, substitute:

5. Schedules 16 to 19

The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

(2) Page 142 (after line 30), at the end of the Bill, add:

Schedule 19—Sunset of amendments

1 Repeal of amendments

(1) The amendments made by Schedules 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14 and 15 to the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Act (No.1) 2016 are repealed 10 years after the commencement of this Schedule.

(2) The Governor-General may make regulations prescribing matters of a transitional nature (including prescribing any saving or application provisions) relating to the repeal of the amendments made by the Schedules mentioned in subitem (1).

My amendments apply a 10-year sunset clause to the schedules of this bill that most restrict individual liberties. The fact that the sunset clause does not apply to all the schedules that restrict individual liberties indicates that my approach to these bills is not broadbrush, simplistic or, dare I say, purist. Indeed, I do not have a blanket opposition to control orders or to the provision that allows them to apply to 14-year-olds, so if the government restricted this bill just to that provision it would have my support. The Liberal Democrats are not extremists. We value a regionally superior defence force as well as our nation's alliances. We value strong borders and we support the licensing of firearm owners. We see the need for thorough enforcement of criminal law, including through surveillance of suspects. And we see the need for sentencing to be colourblind and to take into account the need to keep the community safe from reoffenders. We are clearly not the Greens.

We also see that liberal values need to be defended. My amendment applies a 10-year sunset clause to the bill's changes to preventative detention—schedule 5. This means that if this parliament decides that preventative detention should continue beyond its current sunsetting date of 7 September 2018 then this bill's changes to preventative detention will last until 2026, at which time the requirements for imposing preventative detention will revert to the law in force prior to today's bill. We will see a return to the requirement that a terrorist act is imminent, unless the parliament in a decade's time decides otherwise.

My amendment applies a 10-year sunset clause to the bill's changes to control orders—that is, schedules 2, 3, 8, 9, 10 and 15. This means that if this parliament decides that control orders should continue beyond their current sunsetting date of 7 September 2018 then the bill's changes to control orders will last until 2026, at which time control order powers will revert to those in force prior to today's bill. Control orders will be limited to people who are 16 or older unless the parliament, in a decade's time, decides otherwise.

My amendment also applies a 10-year sunset clause to the bill's offence for advocating genocide, schedule 11; the bill's ban on games and videos that promote terrorism, schedule 13; and the bill's changes that make it easier to get a delayed notification search warrant, schedule 14. This is a very mild amendment. Sunset clauses should be applied to this sort of legislation as a matter of course in a liberal democracy. The government justifies its bills by referring in its explanatory memorandum to a 'heightened threat environment'. The government should not legislate as if this heightened threat environment is permanent. I commend my amendments to the Senate.