Jon Stanhope’s latest on the terror laws is that he’s ordered the ACT Parliamentary Counsel to draft our own version of the Federal Government’s counter-terrorism laws.
He wants to ensure whatever laws are eventually passed in the ACT comply with his baby the Human Rights Act, passed last year. This could mean the ACT ends up with different counter-terrorism laws to the rest of the country.
John Howard’s also changed somewhat on his stance on the importance of the draft. Originally he said what Mr Stanhope had put on his website was only a draft and that changes had been made since then. Now he’s saying the changes that have been made are only “cosmetic” — implying the draft legislation is reasonably close to what the actual legislation will be.
The Sydney Morning Herald is commenting on the state of agitation Mr Stanhope’s move has put the Federal Government in. They were counting on having very tight control over the passage of this legislation and basically he’s blown this to bits. Now they might actually have to let their backbench and the Senate have a good look at the legislation before pushing it through.
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The Canberra Liberal Party had a fun day yesterday pulling out their books of insults again and calling Mr Stanhope a spoilt child and ego-driven. Brendan Smyth has come up with a whole list of what he calls “hotheaded lapses in judgement” by Mr Stanhope (you can read my views on the childishness of all politicians here).
The Chief Minister faces a censure motion in the Assembly today over the whole affair, but no doubt the Labor majority will overturn that.
And finally, Geoff Pryor thinks Mr Stanhope’s stolen the wheel from under the PM’s nose.
UPDATE A couple of Murdoch press reactions below.
Piers Akerman says Stanhope’s being irresponsible and immature.
SHOWING once again he is not the best man to have on your side in a firestorm, ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope, on whose watch Canberra burnt two summers ago, has abandoned all ethical and security considerations in an attempt to undermine the Federal Government’s proposed anti-terrorism legislation.
The Australian’s editorial is running with the line that this shouldn’t be turned into a civil liberties debate because there is a real threat and so the laws are necessary.
UPDATED: [ED – Murdoch
henchman catspaw and fat sack of crap, Piers Akerman, does a lovely roundup of the Chief Minister’s greatest hits before running off the rails and hysterically announcing that, locked as we are in global conflict with “terror”, all measures are necessary. — WHOOPS Umm, yes Kerces had that one under control.]