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PM pushes terror button again, ignores social cohesion

Media Release
Christine Milne 23 Feb 2015

The Greens say Prime Minister Tony Abbott is again desperately trying to distract from his failing government, by embedding himself in an agenda of fear and anxiety, while completely ignoring the need to bring Australians together.

"Tony Abbott is again pressing the terror button in order to shore up his own position. It won't make us safer," Greens Leader Christine Milne said.

"Real leadership will bring people together, not divide them.

"An effort to build our community, rather than to implement divisive new laws, is what's required.

"As the review itself says, ‘The community is key.' The Greens welcome the report's calls for work with at-risk communities to build resilience and to counter violent extremism," said Senator Milne.

"A safer Australia is a more inclusive, generous and supportive Australia. Fanning the flames of fear, difference and anxiety will put Australia at risk."

Australian Greens legal affairs spokesperson Senator Penny Wright said nothing in the recently released Sydney Siege report could be used to justify a further suite of anti-terror measures.

"Tony Abbott's last lot of terror laws were roundly slammed by experts across the country as unnecessary, counterproductive and an infringement on human rights - now he wants to take it even further," Senator Wright said.

"There is no evidence they will do anything to make us safer, but is clear evidence that many of the Prime Minister's counter-terrorism measures undermine the very freedoms we are trying to protect.

"Tony Abbott is ignoring the practical measures to make our streets safer - like looking at the Sydney Siege report recommendations on illegal guns - in favour of ramping up the rhetoric and fear," said Senator Wright.

"Rather than stoking fear and division, the Liberal Party must get behind the Social Cohesion bill I have introduced," Senator Milne said.

"The Liberals have spent only a fraction of what they've allocated to de-radicalisation programs and community, which itself only constitutes a fraction of the overall anti-terrorism package.

"The money is there. It's time to establish the Centre for Social Cohesion.

"If Tony Abbott refuses to back the Greens move for measures to build social cohesion then his hypocrisy on national security will be fully exposed."

The Greens' Social Cohesion Bill was announced in October and introduced on the first day of Parliament in 2015.


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