Friday, December 30, 2005

what the focaccia is going on?

Do we all not love each other?

Probably not.

CAMPBELLTOWN solicitor John Marsden returned to work after a year-long battle with cancer and slammed the Federal Government's new anti-terrorism legislation.

The controversial legislation passed through the Senate last Wednesday after more than 100 amendments.

Mr Marsden, a former national and state president of the Council for Civil Liberties, said such legislation should not take away basic human rights and civil liberties.

"There is a need, a real need, for legislation to protect Australians and our country," he said.

"(But) such legislation should not go over the top or be excessive."

He called on the Government to delete any reference to sedition laws, which he described as "totally archaic and unneccesary in our modern society".

The anti-terrorism Bill caused a national outcry, in particular the sedition provisions which allow for close monitoring of terrorism suspects, new police powers of preventative detention and updated sedition offences.

Amendments now ensure the Commonwealth Ombudsman has more power to oversee detention, detainees will have greater access to relatives and police will need to satisfy a greater number of grounds to impose limits on who a suspect can contact.

There will also be a five-year review of the anti-terrorism laws and a 10-year sunset clause.

The Attorney-General also agreed to a Australian Law Reform Commission review of the sedition provisions early next year.

"It is very important that sunset clauses are included in these legislations it is very important that the parliament and those elected to represent us are committed to human rights and civil liberties," Mr Marsden said.

In Different
Weeping swallows bellow out their last orders
to the pitapat priests of everlasting borders
decked out in kaftans and Semitic kitsch
Glory to the Doner Lamb of God and Shish
King of the curly kebab on an armoured cuirass
Only Beelzebub the docker can endure us
So remind me to button up my facial flies
as this lazy truth I exorcise
the birds, the words they unlock slowly
let them seep not flood, I want something holy
on my tongue unleashed, lost by the power
incessant dripping of cold mental shower
divining rods search for a sudden key word
a mariner says “he who laughs last, laughs leeward”
And so out each half of this foolish oath
Can I pluck the wisdom from them both?
Or must I rely on Santa, The Good Fairy and the Easter Bilby
Or the cream cracker fella in a gorgeous trilby
To provide me with my ghostless present
A harmless man mouthing something pleasant

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