The ABC is reporting that the Federal Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC – part of the Australian government) has said the unthinkable, that under coming anti-terror legislaton Australia is taking the the first step towards a police state. They quote him as saying:
“The defining characteristic of a police state is that the police exercise power on behalf of the executive and the conduct of the police cannot be effectively challenged and regrettably that is exactly what these laws are proposing,”
The report goes on to say that the judicial review of control and detention orders is illusionary and that the experience both in South Africa and in Australia is that when the government says “trust me” with respect to not abusing their powers that trust is all too often betrayed.
“Revelation of the Palmer report demonstrates how abuses of power can occur where there is no acceptable and realistic way that people can question what is happening to them.”
The Palmer Report (PDF) mentioned there is the report into the wrongful detention of Cornelia Rau and the wrongful deportation of Vivian Alvarez.
But we are not even to be trusted to see the legislation, we cannot talk about the latest draft because the Federal Government have tightened things up so that those in the State Governments can’t reveal them to us. The only reason I can think of is that they don’t want them discussed by the public, they fear what may be found.
Please, contact your state and federal politicians and ask them to open up these laws for discussion in the public domain, let us see what is proposed and work out whether we feel they fit the threat. Surely that’s not a problem if they’ve got nothing to hide – after all, that’s what they tell us..