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Bill Stefaniak rates phantom menace over human rights.

By johnboy 11 September 2005 3

Bill Stafaniak has expressed his concern that the ACT might get “left behind” in the rest of Australia’s abandonment of the civil rights which have defined our society.

The comment follows statements made by Mr Stanhope that indicate again he is more interested in human rights than protecting the ACT community from the threat of terrorism.

I’m more interested in the threat of politicians myself. It’s the human rights that make us safe in the long term.

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Bill Stefaniak rates phantom menace over human rights.
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Spectra 8:52 am 12 Sep 05

It’s an interesting, and not wholly invalid point. If I were the paranoid type, however, my next question might be “so, who appoints those judges again?”.

I have to be honest and say that I’m ill-informed to argue over the particular legislation in question, since I haven’t actually had a good look at what it entails. Historically, however, it’s pretty rare that I’ve looked at any “anti-terror” legislation and thought “wow – good idea!”.

johnboy 11:43 pm 11 Sep 05

Interesting you should say that Spectra. I direct your attention to the Prime Minister’s transcript of his announcement press conference.


Prime Minister there will be many in the community who will argue that these measures go too far and breach civil liberties, how are you going to answer the criticism that these measures will go too far and that Australian is essentially being turned into some sort of quasi police state?


Well that is an absurd proposition, Steve. There is nothing in these measures that can possibly be regarded as creating a quasi-police state. Let us take the first of them; the control order. That can only be granted on application to a court. Those sorts of things are imposed without resort to courts in police states. So the police state proposition is wrong, with great respect, it is quite wrong. I mean you’ve got to go to a court to get a control order. And the preventative detention regime; it’s certainly clear to me on what I was told in the wake of the attacks in London that the process of identifying people, particularly those who are acting in concert as quickly as possible as a means of ensuring that some other potential terrorist act does not occur, does involve a capacity to be able to detain people for a very short period of time to prevent the destruction of evidence to prevent the trail going cold. Look, nobody likes the fact that we have to do these things but I do believe that the suggestion that it represents a quasi-police state is really quite over the top.

Note that the PM details how these measure make us a non-Police State and avoid Quasi-Police State by dint of inserting judges into the process.

Spectra 7:14 pm 11 Sep 05

Is he insane? That movie sucked!


Seriously, with the arrest and imminent deportation of that peace activist today, and no information given as to what he’s done to deserve it (“we can’t tell you for…security reasons…yeah, that’ll do”), and the new raft of “anti-terror” legislation, you have to ask: at what point do you consider a country to have become a police state? I’m not saying we’re there yet, but it’s nice to see a politician, even if he is effectively just a local mayor, actually putting human rights somewhere on the agenda.

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