Bill's Transcripts

Parliament House - National Security

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

SPEECH Q&A

PARLIAMENT HOUSE

MONDAY, 23 FEBRUARY 2015

 

SUBJECT/S: National Security.

 

 

JOURNALIST: Do you share the deadline that the Prime Minister outlined today, that all the changes especially on metadata should go through by the end of this month?

 

SHORTEN: The work of the Parliamentary Committee of Intelligence and Security is quite strenuous and they are working with all possible application. So what we need in our Parliament is to make sure that we do indeed deal with the laws, but we make sure that we have the laws which this country needs. Haste and confusion is never the friend of good, sensible security in the future. I would submit our record in the last year of dealing with legislation, working through the amendments and coming up with outcomes which make this country a better place and that's what we will do.

 

JOURNALIST The Prime Minister said that Western leaders often describe Islam as a religion of peace and he often wishes that senior Islamic leaders would do the same thing. Do you think senior Islamic leaders in Australia are doing enough to combat the extremist menace?

 

SHORTEN: I fundamentally believe that the front-line with dealing with terrorism in this country, is in fact the Australian Muslim community. Australia’s revered former spy master David Irvine said that, and I said that in my statement. The front-line of dealing with terrorism will be from within the communities in which these few violent extremists live. I wouldn't want to release every briefing that we've ever had, but I have great confidence that periodically it has been Australian Muslims speaking up, working with our police and security agencies which have provided great assistance to defeating these people. I wouldn't want to do anything which sends a message to all those brave people, to all those community-minded people, to all those great Australians that somehow their contribution is less welcome or less valued, because it is welcomed and it is valued.

 

JOURNALIST Should the group Hizb ut-Tahrir be prescribed or restricted or banned?

 

SHORTEN: Well, certainly this matter's come before parliamentary committees in the past. It's a matter of getting the right evidence and then acting firmly. I don't want to pre-empt the sovereign role that the Parliament has, but I can certainly assure people that when it comes to dealing with crazy violent extremism and those who would advocate it, that Labor will oppose them every step of the way. And we'll work with the Government based upon the best evidence that we can bring to prevent the activities of those who would try to and defeat the Australian way of life. Alright, thanks everyone.

 

ENDS
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