Anthony Albanese has spoken out against the Abbott government’s ‘draconian’ national security laws and has criticised the Labor Party for supporting them. Albanese claims that he would have preferred a “less haste and more close scrutiny” approach when deciding on Australia’s security issues and our deployment in Iraq. “When we put Australians at risk that risk should be properly debated.” Albanese said.
He also condemned new restrictions on press freedom, which could jail journalists for up to 10 years if they report on special intelligence operations. Mr Albanese claims he is “not a pacifist” and that he deplores the actions of IS – in fact he strongly supports Australia’s military involvement in Iraq. He’s just concerned that we may be giving up the very thing or which our troops are fighting.
“When it comes to the so-called anti-terrorist laws, there has to be proper scrutiny of them. We can be fully supportive of our engagement in the Middle East and still say we don’t protect freedom by giving it up.” Albanese said.
Albanese is also concerned about “rubber-stamping” a security wish list, which could unnecessarily increase the power and influence of national security agencies. “At a time like this, the security agencies will take the opportunity to impose things that have been in their bottom drawer for a long period of time.”
When asked if his views were supported by other senior party members, Mr Albanese responded, “I’m only speaking for myself.”
The only other Labor MP who has raised similar concerns, Melissa Parke, voiced her opinion during the recent legislative debate. Mr Albanese remained quiet at the time and his current concerns may be too little, too late.
Read more at TheGuardian.com.au
Do you think our laws should be decided without debate? How much freedom are you happy to give up in order to protect your way of life? What do you think?