The Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill 2015 has not yet been approved by parliament. The debate on the Bill is scheduled to resume next week. As Labor has indicated it will support the revised version of the Bill, it is almost certainly going to be approved quickly and probably without amendment.
As this is such a significant issue, the NSW, Victorian, Queensland and South Australian Councils for Civil Liberties and the Australian Council for Civil Liberties have issued a joint public statement making one last call on the Australian Parliament to abandon this misguided Bill.
In the aftermath of the recent tragic and brutal acts of terrorism in Paris, Lebanon and other places, it is difficult to argue against counter-terrorism initiatives. The urge to take tougher measures to protect our community is strong and understandable.
However, this Bill is not an appropriate or effective response to global terrorism. It will not make us or the world, safer. Arguably it will achieve the opposite.
Punishing criminal actions –including terrorism- by revoking citizenship is not a globally responsible policy.
It is not needed legislation. The Government has adequate existing counter-terrorism powers to deal with the unlawful terrorism-related conduct targeted by the Bill.
Citizenship is an important right which should not be treated as a gift to be withdrawn by politicians or as a penalty for unlawful activity.
We urge our parliamentarians to consider our statement - which is echoed by many others – and to give serious consideration to abandoning the misguided Bill.
What can you do?
Add your voice to ours. Ring your MP and state senators on Monday and Tuesday. Share the joint CCLs statement.