Oct 31, 2005

Transcript of Doorstop Interview – Proposed Anti-Terrorism Laws


31 October 2005

Subject: Proposed Anti-Terrorism Laws

JOURNALIST: Are you concerned about the anti terrorism laws proposed by the government?

ALBANESE: This issue was discussed yesterday in the National Left meeting and like everyone in the Labor Party we are concerned that in ensuring Australia’s security there are appropriate safeguards put in place to make sure that the freedom that we’re protecting we don’t give up on the way through.

JOURNALIST: What freedoms in particular are you talk about – human rights, civil rights?

ALBANESE: Well there have been a range of issues raised regarding peoples civil rights, regarding appropriate judicial overview, regarding consistency with the international covenant on civil and political rights. Peter Garrett has raised concerns regarding the application of some of the sedition provisions. So we are concerned along with everyone in the Labor Party including the State Premiers and Chief Ministers to make sure that this legislation is right.

JOURNALIST: Are you disappointed that Kim Beazley hasn’t said any of this until now? He’s been wanting to be a bit tougher with John Howard.

ALBANESE: No, the issues which Kim Beazley raised are appropriate. Kim Beazley raised, consistent with Labor Party policy, the need to make sure that racial and religious vilification could be included as part of these provisions. Now we do have security issues in this country. We do need to make sure and indeed we have a responsibility to ensure the security of our citizens. So it is matter of getting it right. I think the Labor party is united about that. The Labor Party spokespeople in these areas, Arch Bevis and Nicola Roxon have made that very clear in the last week and we have a consistent position on this. We just need to make sure we get the laws right.

Thank you.