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Greens will demand amendments to Foreign Fighters bill

Media Release
Penny Wright 17 Oct 2014

The Australian Greens will not support no-go zones, the extension of preventative detention orders and the collection of biometric data at airports in the Abbott Government's Foreign Fighters legislation.

Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright said the Greens would seek to delay debate on the second tranche of terror laws to allow time for further scrutiny, amid concerns even the government does not fully understand the extent of the powers they are creating.

"These laws are draconian and will have long-term impacts on how everyday Australians go about their lives," Senator Wright said. "We will not support the legislation in its current form."

"The government is in such a hurry they don't even understand the extent of the changes themselves. To rush the bills through parliament without the chance for proper scrutiny is irresponsible and anti-democratic.

"These are the most significant counter-terrorism changes in our lifetime. We don't want to get to a point where we only realise what freedoms we've traded away once the bill is passed and it's too late."

The Australian Greens have submitted a dissenting report to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs inquiry into the Foreign Fighters bill, outlining plans to remove the no-go zones, the extension of preventative detention orders and biometric data being collected at the airport.

"Trashing legal protections and freedoms will not make Australians safer," Senator Wright said.

"We now hope Labor's disappointing performance and weakness over privacy and freedoms will end. Labor must not wave through more of the Abbott government's ill-thought laws that will not make us safer.

"The safety and security of the Australian community is paramount to the Greens, but in times of heightened security civil liberties and human rights are more important than ever.  

"We hope the ALP and the cross bench will join us in defending the long-held legal protections that Australians value."

The Australian Greens dissenting report on the Foreign Fighters legislation is available here.



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