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Stanhope says Howard to blame for terror risk

By Kerces - 9 November 2005 36

Chief Minister Jon Stanhope told the ABC today the increased terrorism risk in Australia was John Howard’s fault.

He said the Prime Minister should acknowledge that in fact our involvement in the Iraq war has come at a cost to our safety.

“To continue to heap on one group of Australians responsibility for the behaviour of people over whom they have no control, without at the same time saying: ‘and we the rest of Australia will accept our responsibility for what it is that we have done that has increased or enhanced the risk of terrorism’,” Mr Stanhope said.

“That goes straight to the heart of the Prime Minister’s responsibility and culpability in taking Australia into an illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.”

He also said the arrests made in the police raids earlier this week should not be used by the Federal Government as a reason to backflip on the concessions they have made on the anti-terrorism laws.

UPDATE: Adding to these thought on the terror laws, Mr Stanhope’s put out a press release (text below) demanding to know what Shadow Attorney General Bill Stefaniak thinks of Howard’s terror laws given his recent attacks on the Chief Minister’s stance.

FURTHER UPDATE I’ve now found Bill Stefaniak’s press release that is probably what cause this fuss from Mr Stanhope. In it, he accuses the Chief Minister of going to ground after his “attempts to straddle the world like some Colossus of human rights” were shown up by the terror raids.

WHAT DOES BILL STEFANIAK BELIEVE IN?

ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope will make a submission to the Senate inquiry into the Anti-Terrorism Bill, outlining his lingering concerns with the detail of the legislation, and he has called on ACT Shadow Attorney General Bill Stefaniak to let the people of the ACT know where the ACT Liberals stand on the substance of the Bill.

“Mr Stefaniak has been extremely vocal over the past few weeks, launching almost daily personal attacks on me, but not once has he actually come clean and told Canberrans what he, a man who sets himself up as the alternative attorney general of this Territory, actually thinks about the detail of the Prime Minister’s draft laws,” Mr Stanhope said today. “In fact, Mr Stefaniak is even on the record boasting that he hadn’t read the draft laws that have been the subject of the debate. Yet he has the gall and presumption to criticise me for trying to extract the best, fairest and most workable laws for the people of the ACT.

“One can only assume that Mr Stefaniak would, if given the opportunity, have signed on the dotted line without even reading the draft laws. One can only assume that, given the chance, he would roll back the concessions made by the Prime Minister over recent weeks, concessions that have only been extracted because of the public scrutiny and considered debate the draft laws have received.

“One can only assume Mr Stefaniak would reinstate the shoot-to-kill provisions that were contained in the original circulated draft, that he would gaily countenance the locking up of children without charge and without access to their parents, that he would gladly sign away an individual’s right to judicial review on the merits.

“Mr Stefaniak evidently believes that the so-called delay that resulted when the Prime Minister shifted the sign-off deadline in response to concerns raised by the Premiers and Chief Ministers — a delay that amounted to a whole four days — was an unacceptable price to pay for the significant concessions that were achieved over those final hours. One can only assume that he, a lawyer by training, would have been happy to give the nod to laws that would almost certainly have been found to be unconstitutional.

“But of course it is impossible to know with any confidence what Mr Stefaniak believes about these and other issues that go to the heart of our legal traditions and our democracy, because he has so steadfastly declined to engage in a single moment’s worth of debate in relation to the contents of the anti-terrorism laws. The people of Canberra already know what Bill Stefaniak thinks about me — he has issued no fewer than eight media releases on that subject over the past few weeks in relation to the anti-terrorism debate. What Canberrans deserve to know is what Bill Stefaniak thinks about anti-terrorism. On that, they haven’t a clue.”

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36 Responses to
Stanhope says Howard to blame for terror risk
Thumper 4:51 pm 09 Nov 05

And I keep saying that Stanhope should stop scoring cheap political points and go back to roads, rates and rubbish….

areaman 4:47 pm 09 Nov 05

Thumper, again no one on this thread is saying that we should be pulling (nor that was stanhope in that story), so why do you keep on repeating that we shouldn’t leave?

Thumper 4:26 pm 09 Nov 05

John Laws is a tool.

As for my previous comments, I agree, I don’t think we should have gone to Iraq. But I also don’t think we should simply now bugger off and leave anarchy.

Stanhope should get off his high horse and get back to roads, rates and rubbish rather than scoring cheap, but irrelevant politcal points through pointless media releases and stunts.

As soon as Australia committed to iraq we were going to be under a greater terror threat. If we pull out now it will make no difference whatsoever.

screamingmonkey 4:24 pm 09 Nov 05

NoHope can’t help himself

He sooo wants to be recognised as a statesman of note on the national and international stage that the press releases keep on coming – terrorism, memorials for boats that sank overseas, women’s issues in Timor (but not the whales, that’s not our business)

Just fix the potholes ffs and sort out the local hospital problems as any good local mayor would

Maelinar 4:20 pm 09 Nov 05

As a recently retired soldier I don’t support the war in Iraq, and indeed it was one of the many factors I took into consideration as to why I got out at the time I did.

That said, we are there now for whatever reason, and we need to commit to staying there until it is a proper time to go. I say a proper time to go is when fuel prices in Canberra are 0.50c a litre.

areaman 4:12 pm 09 Nov 05

Ralph, I don’t think that Laws and his callers are any more indicative of the “real people” of Australia any more than any other self selecting group of like minded people.

And I didn’t listen to Laws either, but were they really talking about how Australia’s involvment in Iraq had increased our risk of terroist attack? That’s what Stanhope was talking about, and it’s what, from all ther polls I’ve seen, the vast majority of people in Australia agree with.

Ralph 4:12 pm 09 Nov 05

My tongue is still planted firmly in my cheek.

annie 4:10 pm 09 Nov 05

John Laws doesn’t necessarily represent the real people of Australia, Ralph.

He represents those who listen to his program and mostly feel the way he does.

Believe it or not, there are lots who privately feel exactly the way Stanhope does, but don’t get the chance to say it publicly.

Ralph 3:58 pm 09 Nov 05

Stanhope should’ve been listening to John Laws this morning. He would’ve then realised how far out of touch he (Stanhope) is with the real people of Australia.

Slinky the Shocker 3:51 pm 09 Nov 05

I can identify 2 parties who want to destroy our way of life as a matter of fact. Islamic terrorists and little Johnny. Together they are well on their way to turn a fun-loving, free-spirited country into a bunch of pussies that are so f*&@^n scared that they are willing to trade their freedom for a false sense of security.
I support the raids, but only in the current fashion, where suspects are tried in a transparent process before a democratic court.
Piss off terrorists, piss off Johnny (and Kimmy for that matter)…!
end rant

Spot the wog 3:45 pm 09 Nov 05

Well were in, and there is not a close chance that well get out before Iraq becomes what GWBush sadistic vision is, AMTG2 is going up there soon to replace AMTG1 Good Luck Boys!!!

colsim 3:36 pm 09 Nov 05

Stanhope is right – all this crap about “They want to destroy our way of life” is so transparently wrong, the US have pissed off a bunch of people by invading and occupying their bit of dirt (and ripping off billions of dollars in the process) and by tagging along so closely, we’ve put ourselves in the firing line. (I’m not saying there should be a firing line and I emphasise that violence against the innocent is no way to solve a political situation)

Having said that, I’m not so convinced Beazley would’ve done it differently but you know there would’ve been a few more people in the party room making his life difficult.

Maintain the rage comrade.

areaman 3:34 pm 09 Nov 05

Thumper, I don’t think he was talking about what we should do now that we’re in, rather that our involvement Iraq in the first place has increased our risk of terrorist attack. It’ss bloody well self evident, but Howard still refuses to acknowledge it.

Samuel Gordon-Stewar 3:17 pm 09 Nov 05

I gotta get a webcam installed in Stanhope’s office so I can see all of his telephone rants…does his hair look angry/nutty during the telephone rants the same way it does on TV?

Thumper 3:08 pm 09 Nov 05

So, the hedgehog breaks his silence. of course its Howard’s fault. All those nice people never intended to blow anyone up or kill anyone, they were forced to do it by lib policies.

Give me a break please Mr Stanhope. your incessant carping about the Iraq war is wearing thin.

What about the whales? Or too scared to upset or belittle Japanese culture? Well, we couldn’t have that could we.

And for the record I really don’t think we should have gone to iraq but now we are there I think we should ensure the place is safe, or safer, before we leave.

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