Page 388 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 16 February 2016

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The bill will amend the Terrorism (Extraordinary Temporary Powers) Amendment Act 2006 to extend the operation of the act for a further five years, as I said, to 19 November 2021. The act allows a court to make a preventative detention order if it is satisfied that a terrorist act is happening or will happen sometime in the next 14 days and the order will substantially assist in preventing the terrorist act or reducing its impact or both.

All states and territories have passed or are passing similar legislation in accordance with recommendation 39 of the 2013 Council of Australian Governments review of counter-terrorism legislation in Australia. I note that the ACT Law Society has advised that it does not oppose this bill and the Bar Association has not made any comment. The legislation is consistent with legislation in other states extending anti-terrorism processes.

So we will support the legislation but it is important to note that this does expire in five years and I think that is an important principle. There is always a balance between community safety and the freedoms and democracy that we enjoy, and we would never support simply a rolling over of this legislation without these important reviews. I am comfortable that they have occurred. We obviously have not been privy to all of the information but I do have the faith and trust that that is being dealt with responsibly through the states and through the federal parliament. As I said, we will be supporting this legislation.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (10.41): The ACT Greens do not support the Terrorism (Extraordinary Temporary Powers) Bill. I have made it clear to my cabinet colleagues that I disagree with their proposal to continue to allow preventative detention in the ACT and I will be voting against the passage of the bill today.

Before I explain further, I want to be clear that the Greens abhor terrorism, we abhor crimes against humanity and we abhor the brutality and horror that has been caused by terrorism throughout history. We also accept that threats of terrorism in Australia are real and that we need to be prepared and have appropriate legislation to support law enforcement and intelligence. However, that does not mean that in the name of national security we agree to any manner of law, any manner of restricting human rights, particularly not in the case where such laws are unnecessary and ineffective.

There are two critical reasons that the Greens do not support this legislation. The first is that the preventative detention powers are an extensive and unwarranted erosion of human rights that we should all be committed to upholding. As a jurisdiction that purports to respect and protect human rights, we should not support such an erosion of rights. That is not to say that I believe human rights are always absolute. I accept the need for cautious limitations on human rights in a free and democratic society. Some of the laws we make in this place curtail human rights as we seek to protect other freedoms. But we are charged with ensuring that we make these restrictions in the most limited way and in a way that is necessary and proportionate.

There is a second key reason for our opposition, that is, the fact that the preventative laws are ineffective and unnecessary. I will expand on these issues in a moment. To

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