Interview with David Lipson – Sky News AM Agenda – Thursday 9 October 2014






SUBJECT/S: Hizb ut-Tahrir; National Security Legislation; Western Sydney; Airstrikes in Iraq

DAVID LIPSON: The Shadow Communications Minister Jason Clare joins me now from Sydney. Jason, what do you make of those comments from Hizb ut-Tahrir and should they be banned in this country?

JASON CLARE, SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS: I fundamentally disagree with them. They are an extreme organisation and I think it is important to note that they don’t represent the views of the overwhelming majority of Muslim Australians.

To the second point, it’s already a criminal offence to insight terrorism. What the Government is proposing here in this second tranche of legislation is to create an offence of advocating terrorism and that’s going through the process of being examined by the Parliamentary Committee at the moment. People like Brett Walker QC have expressed some concerns with the way it’s framed in the current draft Bill and other members of the Committee have expressed concerns that it’s drafted too broadly, but that’s the purpose of this Committee, to make sure that anything that is brought to the Parliament is drafted correctly and we’ll wait to see the final Bill.

LIPSON: Because some have said that this crime of advocating terrorism as the Government wants to put it through Parliament that a cleric for example, could fall foul of the law for simply advocating for example, the duty of a Muslim to protect his land, to defend his land.

CLARE: Well there’s been evidence before the Committee, for example that says that if you are a member of an organistaion that proposes something but you fundamentally disagree with that, that you could be caught in this definition. Now I use that just by way of example that it’s important that the Committee thoughtfully go through the draft legislation, identify if there is a need for changes to get the legislation right and then present its recommendations to Government and to the Parliament so that the legislation we pass is the right legislation and it works to target the people and the organisations it needs to.

LIPSON: You are a member representing Blaxland in Western Sydney, what is the mood like there at the moment and what how are the Government’s actions both in Iraq and at home being viewed?

CLARE: I’ll make a couple of points. People are relieved first that the alleged plot from a couple of weeks ago was foiled by the police. People are pretty angry that their religion is being hijacked by this extreme organisation overseas. People are genuinely frustrated that they need to prove that they are Australian each and every day and people are worried that they are going to be targeted for the actions of a few. We’ve seen that on the streets of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. For example, a woman that was bashed and pushed off a train in Melbourne. A friend of mine in Western Sydney, who’s worked in domestic violence for thirty years and received an OAM in 2008, received a call two weeks ago from a man threatening to cut her head off.

We’ve got a community in my electorate in Western Sydney where a lot of non-Muslims feel afraid and a lot of Muslims feel victimised and we have a responsibility as political leaders to try and work together to bring the community together.

LIPSON: I just want to bring you and our viewers up to speed with some breaking news – you can see it across your screen there. Australian Air Task Group has conducted its first airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Iraq overnight. This statement from defence says, ‘The Australian Air Task Group operating in the Middle East has attacked its first target, two bombs were dropped from an F/A-18F Super Hornet onto an ISIL facility. All aircraft exited the target area safely and returned to base’. No further details available at this time. A response to that Jason Clare, the first airstrikes by Australian Super Hornets in Iraq.

CLARE: I think the Labor Party has made it very clear that we strongly support the actions that the Government has taken here. There is strong bi-partisan support between the Labor Party and the Liberal Party in the action that we are taking in Iraq. If Australia, the United States, Britain, France or the countries in the Middle East don’t take action then you are going to see the acts of barbarians like ISIL continue and more and more people being slaughtered. We support the actions that the Government is taking here and that the international coalition is taking.

LIPSON: Shadow Communications Minister, Jason Clare we are right out of time. Didn’t cover some of the issue we were expecting to but some very important ones coming over the top there. Thank you for your time today.

CLARE: Thanks David.