Greens Condemn Secrecy, Abuse Of Parliament

The Australian Greens have reacted following the recall of the Senate to pass an amendment to counter-terrorist legislation and the Prime Minister’s announcement of a “potential terrorist threat” to Australia.

This is the text of a media release from the Australian Greens Senator, Rachel Siewert.

Prime Minister’s IR Sleight Of Hand Condemned

Nov 3, 2005

Senator Rachel Siewer“The Prime Minister received notice of this apparent terror threat well before the Industrial Relations bill was tabled yesterday,” Senator Siewert said. “Why then, did they go ahead with the introduction of the IR bill before introducing the terror amendment?”

The Greens have condemned the Government’s cynical manipulation of fears of terrorism for political purposes, announcing the recall of the Senate to pass an amendment on terror laws only hours after introducing the IR legislation into the House of Representatives.

“This has exposed the Government’s manipulation of the threat of terrorism for the basest political ends. The Government is seeking to avoid scrutiny of its’ devastating attack on the rights of working people, and what better way to do this than wave the terror flag?”

“Even if the Government wasn’t intending to divert attention from the IR changes they should have been aware that it would have that effect”.

Senator Siewert noted the comments of former ASIS intelligence operative Warren Reed, who declared the Prime Minister’s timing was ‘exquisite’ and decried the fact that ‘politicking was colouring national security’.

The Greens are preparing for a fiery session in the Senate this afternoon, in which they will place the Government’s cynical tactics under the microscope.

This is the text of a media release from the Australian Greens Senator, Bob Brown.

Greens Condemn Secrecy, Abuse Of Parliament

Nov 2, 2005

Senator Bob Brown“A recall designed to take the IR bill off the front pages.”

“Mr Howard’s recall of the Senate to change ‘the’ to ‘a’ demands justification,” Greens Senator Bob Brown said today.

“The Senate recall will not alter one iota the Government’s ability to arrest, or interrogate terrorist plotters,” Senator Brown said.

“The charges may alter, but the ability to arrest the offenders does not.”

“The Greens will not wave this Howard bill through the Senate. With no change of the threat level in Australia, a much better explanation of today’s Howard terror dramatics is required. People have every right to think this is a manipulation of parliament,” said Senator Brown.

“It is a recall timed to take the Industrial Relations bill off the front pages,” said Senator Brown.

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