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Beattie urged to protect Queenslanders' freedoms in anti-terror quest.



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DEMOCRATS MEDIA (05/471) TUESDAY 27 SEPTEMBER 2005 SENATOR ANDREW BARTLETT AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS DEPUTY LEADER

BEATTIE URGED TO PROTECT QUEENSLANDERS’ FREEDOMS IN ANTI-TERROR QUEST Queensland Senator Andrew Bartlett has called on Premier Peter Beattie to take a stronger stand on protecting the freedoms of Queenslanders during anti-terror discussions at today’s COAG meeting.

"The sorts of police and political powers that are being proposed by the Prime Minister and some state Premiers would make Joh Bjelke-Petersen green with envy," Senator Bartlett said.

"I ask Peter Beattie to remember his younger days fighting against the misuse of police and political powers of the Bjelke-Petersen regime, and to make sure he is not responsible for bringing in laws which will allow even greater abuse of individual freedoms."

"It is essential to ask why there needs to be extra powers to deal with any threat from terrorists. Inciting or committing organised violence is already illegal, as is conspiring to commit violent crimes."

"No case has been made as to why Queensland or Australia needs such new laws.

"The idea that we are a nation ‘at war’ is simply a fraudulent notion manufactured by politicians looking for opportunities to give themselves more power.

"Terrorism presents a danger of physical harm to Australians, but so do car travel, domestic violence and many other threats. Those risks should be assessed in a realistic way, not used as a smokescreen to give more power to politicians and police, and less to the people."

Media contact - Andrew Bartlett - 0418 743 789