Thursday 1 December 2005
The NSW Terrorism (Police Powers) Bill that is currently before the Parliament of NSW allows a substantial and dangerous erosion of essential civil liberties and should be rejected by the Parliament. This Bill contains the enabling provisions for the new Commonwealth Terrorism Laws recently agreed to by the Prime Minister and State and Territory leaders.
NSWCCL President Cameron Murphy said:
"These laws allow the detention of people on a mere suspicion of terrorist involvement. It weakens an important defence of democracy and will mean that ordinary innocent Australians are the targets, not the terrorists the laws are designed to stop".
"There is a real risk that we will follow Malaysia and Singapore, where similar powers are used to silence opposition and keep their governments in power in perpetuity".
"This Bill repeats mistakes that were made in Northern Ireland. There detention without trial created anger that fostered terrorism and drowned out the voices of moderation."
"The Bill provides powers for preventative detention of people, house arrest and for extensive search and seizure powers amongst many others. When such powers are given to the police they are invariably misused. Innocent persons will spend time in jail as a result of mistakes".
"There is a real risk that in the hands of a future government the powers granted in this bill will be used to conceal wrongdoing and incompetence and abuse of process".
For more information contact:
Cameron Murphy, NSWCCL President, 0411 769 769
See also: CCL's submission on the Terrorism (Police Powers) Amendment (Preventative Detention) Bill 2005.