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Heffernan's accusation of sedition marks new low for government's democratic ideals.



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Kerry Nettle, Senator for New South Wales

MEDIA RELEASE 10.02.03

Heffernan’s accusation of sedition marks new low for Government’s democratic ideals

Senator Kerry Nettle has today offered her support for the NSW Local Government Association’s opposition to war in Iraq, and condemned remarks made by Senator Bill Heffernan, accusing the Association of making ‘seditious’ comments.

“These very serious, if slightly bizarre, remarks are sadly indicative of the inability of the Government to accept the majority view of Australians which is opposed to war with Iraq.

“If Senator Heffernan’s comments are in any way representative of the views of the Government then supporters of free speech have a good deal to be worried about.” Senator Nettle said.

The last time the commonwealth used the sedition laws was in 1953, and have been described in the Sydney Law Review as an ‘anachronistic and an unjustified interference with freedom of expression.’ v.14 sept. 1992

“Mr Howard is well known to have a fondness for the values of the 1950s, but I sincerely hope that this enthusiasm does not extend to the undemocratic, oppressive use of the sedition laws, last used in 1953 to persecute Australian communists.”

The Greens support the NSW LGA’s call for Australian troops to be withdrawn from the Middle East. The Greens do not support a war with Iraq whether the UN endorses such a war or not.

Contact - Jon Edwards 0428 213 146