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ACT Says no to Terror Laws

By johnboy 3 November 2005 31

Late this afternoon the Chief Minister put out a media release (below) saying that the ACT was going to pass on the Government’s draconian terror laws.

Bill Stefaniak has responded by doing the seemingly impossible, lowering the tone of of public discourse in the ACT by quoting Kylie Mole in this media release.

I for one am glad to be dealt out of the game Bill. Your position on this issue will be remembered when the next election rolls around.

The text of the Chief Minister’s media release is as follows:


The ACT would move as swiftly as practicable to introduce the anti-terrorism measures it had agreed to
at last month’s special heads-of-government meeting but Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said he had not
been able to put his signature to the Commonwealth Bill introduced into Federal Parliament this

“While I acknowledge the very significant concessions made by the Federal Government in recent days
in relation to the preventative detention regime and control orders, I have been unable to satisfy myself,
in the scant few hours the Prime Minister has allowed me to scrutinise the final draft, that the Bill meets
the promises made by the Prime Minister at the Council of Australian Governments meeting,” he said.

“My office received a final draft of the Bill this morning, after I had left Canberra to attend to interstate
ministerial commitments. 1 have had no opportunity to consider the substance of the most recent
amendments and no opportunity to secure the kind of advice 1 would require in order to be comfortable
about the final shape of the legislation, Moreover, I have still received no response whatsoever from
the Commonwealth in relation to a comprehensive list of my outstanding concerns about the detail of
the Bill, which was sent to the Prime Minister on November I, Many of these concerns, including the
proposed sedition laws and the offences of advocacy, have not been the subject of recent amendment.

“A number of areas of concern remain. For instance, there is a body of expert opinion that the Bill as it
stands could be unconstitutional and could fall at the first legal challenge. I believe it would not be
appropriate to agree to the laws when the only legal opinions 1 have seen express grave concern in
relation to constitutionality. It is surely vital that we take the time to ensure that these laws do not fail,
exposing the community to a period in which it might endure less protection and security than it
currently enjoys. 1 am convinced that, given time, the State and Territory Solicitors General could have
provided recommendations that would have significantly reduced the vulnerability of the Bill to
challenge. I have had no assurance that such amendments have been incorporated into the Bill.

“Nor have I yet had an opportunity to be satisfied that the provisions of the Bill are truly proportionate or
that they satisfy the Prime Minister’s promise of September 27 that the laws would comply with
Australia’s obligations under international human-rights law.

“The Prime Minister, due to his determination to ram through this legislation this afternoon, has left me
with no alternative but to reject the Anti-Terrorism Bill as it stands, This is a disappointing conclusion to
a process that was entered into by the ACT with good will and with a conviction on my part that tough
new laws were necessary.”

Mr Stanhope said that he would move as soon as possible to fulfil the promises he made at COAG to
legislate for a territory-based preventative detention scheme and other changes to police powers. “I will
keep the promises the Prime Minister made,” he said.

What’s Your opinion?

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31 Responses to
ACT Says no to Terror Laws
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johnboy 6:28 pm 04 Nov 05

If you’re expecting public outrage to keep the system in check, you need to remember that reporting on people held under these laws is going to be punishable by five years in the pokey.

As will telling anyone you’re being held

Worth bearing in mind that many (not all) police would dearly love to see an end to trials and judges as they “already know who the bad guys are”.

Slinky the Shocker 4:48 pm 04 Nov 05

What about Montgomery Burns, the Attorney-General 😉

Maelinar 4:06 pm 04 Nov 05

Wow, I think my electoral rorting statement was badder than the communist one.

I’m in the shit.

I’ve previously just thought it was old people and South Australians who voted Liberal, now I’m finding out that there is this whole closet economy of people who disagree with him but vote for him anyway.

I for the records think that Stott-Despoya should take over the Democrats again, that would get my vote, if only cause she’s a sexy blonde chick, and we need more of that in parliament.

I hear on the grapevine that Julia Gillard has dolled herself up a bit too, rumour being that a challenge for the top seat might be imminent to coincide with Kym Beasleys unpopularity at the moment.

She’d keep the votes, but she’s gotta stop doing the friendly-friendly interviews with Tony Abbot, he’s a nutjob.

Other than that, there’s scant all worth voting for up at parliament house, in looks or charisma.

annie 3:50 pm 04 Nov 05

Bonfire, I don’t think the posting of the confidential draft terror laws was stupid.

Howard was trying to sneak through important and far-reaching legislation without giving anyone a real opportunity to have their say and raise any concerns they might have, and I think Stanhope was acting in the public interest.

But fair enough if you don’t agree.

I don’t personally think Stanhope has dealt himself out of the game: in my view, Howard is being petty and punishing the guy for not going along with the government’s agenda by excluding him from the phone hook-up.

However, I agree with what you say though about thinking for yourself and coming to your own conclusions about issues. We shouldn’t just accept what the media has to say, especially since on the whole they are so unquestioning about important things.

BTW, while the sedition laws haven’t been used for a while, there have been 2 notable prosecutions.

Secretary of the Australian Communist Party Lawrence Sharkey was jailed for sedition in 1949, for saying publicly that if “Soviet troops came to Australia in search of an aggressor, they would be welcomed by the Australian working class” (quoted from an Aust. War Memorial article by Peter Edwards).

And according to the Green Left Weekly newspaper, “the last prosecution under the sedition laws was in 1960, when Australian Department of Native Affairs officer Brian Cooper was prosecuted for urging “the natives” of Papua New Guinea to demand independence from Australia. He was convicted, and committed suicide after losing his appeal.”

So for my money, it’s not inconceivable that statements which are unpalatable to the government could land the speaker or publisher in hot water.

bonfire 3:44 pm 04 Nov 05

maelinar, voting for john howard is like admitting you masturbate.

noone admits to it, but everyone does it.

enough anyway to get him returned several times.

because he isnt your choice doesnt mean that a fraud has occurred. i think the aec is apolitical. it would have alerted us to this massive fraud by now.

and to stop you regarding me as a liberal stooge, ill state this for the record: i have not voted for howard or for carnell.

i didnt vote for stanhope either!

sadly i think majority govt in the assembly has robbed us of real opposition. cross and dundas made worthwhile contributions, dundas in particular as far as an independent could.

the greens are so far to the left that they offer no real opposition at all. politics is pragmatism.

Maelinar 3:25 pm 04 Nov 05


vg 3:23 pm 04 Nov 05

Well said Bonfire

And Mael, I am proud to say I vote Liberal, and I can find you a hundred others off the top of my head

bonfire 3:15 pm 04 Nov 05

at least carnell got things done.

point to stanhopes achievements.

his petulant posting of confidential draft legislation was stupid on so many levels.

as a person who elects representatives, how do i feel that my representative has dealt himself out of the game through his own actions ?

effectively all act residents have nil say in the new legislation.

onya jon.

as to all the handwringing on artists etc being locked up, just look at the exisiting provisions of the crimes act. sedition already exists. when was the last time it was used ?

if the bulk of the softheads who bitch, moan and rant about things conducted some basic research instead of parroting whjatever idea funnel is pointed in their direction, they might find they are being used as useful fools in someone elses agenda.

when you are presented with an idea or policy or proposal you dont like, or know little about – stop.

listen, analyse, develop, communicate.

listen to the proposal. what is it that you are being told ?

analyse it – research it, what does it mean ? look for information – read legislation, use google or comlaw.

Develop your own sense of how the issue impacts upon you, and society. try and not be influenced by the media or powerful harpie like mouthpieces. develop pro and con positions and look for merit in each until you come to a position that is truly yours and not a meme.

Communicate your fresh idea or take in a constructive fashion.

i think stanhope fails several of these basic steps.

Maelinar 3:14 pm 04 Nov 05

if they bring in retrospective penalties, will Jon Stanhope become a criminal by encouraging disaffection with the current commonwealth government by publishing the documentation publicly which has stirred up so much disaffection with the public cause they all think the government is shit ?

Here’s a radical thought (for which I’m going to become a criminal for), In my travels across Australia I’ve yet to actually meet IN REAL LIFE, somebody who ACTUALLY VOTED for the Liberals. This is in 7 years.

I think there has been some vote rigging of an extremely large scale for a very long time. That’s what’s keeping JH in government, not all these scheming tactics (which are a double-smokescreen for his real activities which is vote rigging)

Absent Diane 1:12 pm 04 Nov 05

I say Good job mr Stanhope…… you are doing are far better than your predecessor pumpkinhead carnell

colsim 11:50 am 04 Nov 05

Only if you mean it in a disrespectful way I guess Slinky 🙂

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