82 anti-terror laws in 18 years: has our safety changed?

With new Australian anti-terror laws running at about five a year over 18 years, there are two fundamental questions: has our safety changed for the better, and do we need all of them now, or should there be a consolidated ‘Anti-terror Act’ that reins in the draconian excesses, restores balanced rights and liberties, and better represents the real dangers in 2020 to the nation?

CLA warning on mass surveillance highlighted

In a proposed new law before parliament, the government wants the right to conduct broad-spectrum surveillance, and hold photos on every Australian, without necessary safeguards. It claims the technology doesn’t exist for mass surveillance in real time, but The Guardian report’s CLA President Dr Kristine Klugman when she points out that a minor development could introduce the option of ‘1984’ and ‘Big Brother’ high-tech to Australia in just a few months, which police and security authorities would find ‘cheap and enticing’…and irresistible.

Government hypocrisy over filming in Tasmania 

The Tasmanian Minister for the Arts (who is also Attorney-General) gives $100,000 to a documentary maker for a series partly filmed in Tasmania which is investigating injustice around a South Australian murder case. But her own government sools the Tasmanian Police on to a documentary film-maker filming in Tasmania for a series investigating injustice around a ‘murder’ case in Tasmania. Go figure!

Australia enters a ‘Second Convict Age’, MP says

At last! A federal MP is taking Australia’s horrific rate of jailing people, particularly Indigenous citizens, seriously. Dr Andrew Leigh, the Member for Fenner (ACT) has produced a detailed rundown that shows we are becoming among the greatest jailers. For example, we now jail Indigenous Australians at a rate greater than the USA jails African-Americans. Read a summary of Leigh’s paper, with a link to the original.

Sept 2019 CLArion newsletter: Security forces gild lily in seeking to retain unaccountable powers to raid journos and ABC 

The spookmeisters have emerged from deep hiding to defend their over-the-top raids on the homes of journalists and the national HQ of the ABC. They’ve trotted out ghosts and hobgoblins in yet another fear-raising exercise to suit their secret aims. An MP has described Australia as a ‘pre-police state’…but we are very quickly moving past the ‘pre’ stage as recent events demonstrate.

Australia spied, cheated and has now lost its moral compass

If national security is genuinely at risk, leakers should be prosecuted. But where Australia itself, its political leaders, top bureaucrats and spook agencies are the transgressors, ‘leakers’ should be rewarded and those who have trashed the nation’s reputation are the ones to go before a Royal Commission or court of law. Both the government and the opposition are behaving reprehensibly in relation to the Witness K/Bernard Collaery case, Dr Richie Gun says.