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Australian Government Enhances Anti-Terror Bill

Government Enhances Anti-Terror Bill

The Government has settled on amendments to improve and strengthen the Anti-Terrorism Bill currently before Parliament.

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said the Government intends to move amendments to further enhance the proposals originally announced by the Prime Minister after the COAG meeting in September.

‘I have consistently said that the Government will consider suggestions for improvements to the Bill and after consultation with colleagues we will proceed with the measures," Mr Ruddock said.

The amendments respond both to recommendations made by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee and also to suggestions raised by other government members.

The Government has confirmed it will proceed with the sedition provisions, which will outlaw the urging of force or violence, while removing any doubt about the ability of people to make political comment and criticisms.

‘The amendments have been developed in a constructive way to bring forward these reforms," Mr Ruddock said.

"The total package which is now before the Parliament, is a testament to the Government’s continuing determination to protect the Australian community.

"The Prime Minister has sought the agreement of states and territories to those amendments that require their agreement," Mr Ruddock said, "I’d now urge the Opposition to work with the Government to ensure speedy passage and implementation of the Bill."

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