This week in parliament the NSW Liberal Government rushed through new terrorism laws which will give NSW Police shoot-to-kill powers and make changes to parole conditions. I spoke on behalf of the Greens in the Lower House on this Bill.
Instead of responding to the Greens serious concerns that I raised in my speech, the Attorney General in his reply, reverted to name calling.
The NSW Greens spokesperson on Justice, David Shoebridge spoke against this Bill in the Legislative Council and issued a release commenting that,
"Police already have the right to use reasonable force to save a life, so there is no reason to give police additional shoot-to-kill powers...
We have serious concerns that once a terrorism declaration is made, these shoot to kill powers can be used not just against those engaged in terrorism activities, but anyone at the location." (you can read his full statement here)
Below is an outline of our concerns with the Bill - and how the debate played out in the Chamber.
I spoke on the Legislation in the Legislative Assembly, on behalf of the Greens,
You can read the transcript of my speech here.
In reply the Attorney General didn't address our serious concerns, he reverted to name calling:
You can read the full transcript of Mark Speakman's response here.
Rather than respond to questions about why this legislation was rushed through the Parliament, or why this Bill wasn't recommended by the coroner, who made it clear that the NSW Police Force already has the appropriate powers, NSW Attorney General, Mark Speakman chose to personally attack me and the Greens.
During my speech, I raised concerns on behalf of the Greens about the Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Police Powers and Parole) Bill 2017 which was rushed through the NSW Parliament with no chance for proper scrutiny by key stakeholders or other state politicians. It is disgusting that the Attorney General simple resorted to name calling.
The NSW Liberal Government rushed this Bill through and the NSW Labor party supported it.
The Greens were the only party to oppose this Bill as we recognise that it's part of the larger agenda being pushed by conservative state and federal governments who use international terrorist attacks to continue to strengthen police powers and wind back key human rights and civil liberty protections in the name of countering terrorism.
The community, our democracy and civil society need to be respected as an important part of how our laws are made and human rights are respected.
The Bar Association and the Law Society of NSW issued a joint media release urging the New South Wales Parliament not to pass a new terrorism bill in haste. The NSW Council for Civil Liberties also raised serious concerns about the Bill.
The Greens will continue to stand up for these important pillars of our society in the face of attacks from the NSW Liberal Government and weak opposition from Labor.