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Labor's anti-terror safeguards vindicated again.

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Media Release Hon Arch Bevis MP

Federal Member for Brisbane

Shadow Minister for Homeland Security, Aviation and Transport Security


“For the second time in one week a bipartisan report by a parliamentary committee reviewing anti-terrorism laws has supported the sort of safeguards Labor has been arguing for,” Shadow Minister for Homeland Security Arch Bevis said.

“The Parliamentary Joint Committee on ASIO, ASIS and DSD’s report on ASIO’s Questioning and Detention Powers, which was released today, unanimously recommended a five-year sunset clause to apply to these powers.

This is in line with Labor’s proposal on anti-terrorism laws and is yet a further sign to the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General that sunset clauses are not only required but must be reasonable.

John Howard and Philip Ruddock should swallow their pride, do the right thing and accept the bipartisan view of two committees.

The Committee also recommended safeguards to protect the rights of an accused person by:

● improving access to legal advice; ● ensuring ASIO provides the grounds on which warrants are issued; ● ensuring a person subject to a questioning warrant has a right of access to the ombudsman and the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security.

In an important move to enhance transparency and accountability the Committee has recommended a review of the provisions to enable disclosure of the existence of a questioning warrant. The secrecy surrounding these warrants has been the subject of substantial public comment. The Committee’s recommendations are very welcome.

30th November, 2005

Further information: Rodney Kendall 0409 374 900