preventative detention threatens all australians

Tuesday, 27 September 2005 NSWCCL media release: 7/2005


The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties are deeply concerned by today’s State and Federal Government agreement to introduce even more draconian security powers. 

“Mr Howard has said that law-abiding citizens have nothing to fear from these security laws. But it is only law-abiding citizens that are under threat from so-called preventative detention”, said Cameron Murphy of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties. 

“Australia already has plenty of powers to arrest people who have committed or planned terrorist acts”, Mr Murphy said. “We can lock people up for conspiracy, trespass, assault or many other charges.” 

“What the government is now saying is they want to put people away for two weeks when there is no evidence to lay charges. And if you are locked up you may never even know why. 

“We are facing the loss of basic civil rights that were fought for over centuries. Ten hours is too much for these over-riding government powers, let alone ten years”, said Mr Murphy. 

“A sunset clause 10 years away is no adequate safeguard against these laws. The States have failed to win any safeguards in the form of checks and balances to protect people from these new powers.” 

“The bare minimum required to safeguard people is adequate judicial review”, said Mr Murphy. 

For more information contact: 
Cameron Murphy, President, New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties, 0411 769 769.