[Extracted from Senate Hansard, 6 October 2005]

Senator MILNE (Tasmania) (1.44 pm)- I rise today to support the motion that the circumstances surrounding the deportation of Scott Parkin be referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee. I am doing so because, as other speakers have said, and I am not going to go into those arguments, it is a matter of justice and fairness that the Australian people know why somebody was plucked off the street and deported from this country with no questions asked of the rest of the community. We are standing here today asking those questions.

I was in Europe last week, and I came back through the UK on the day when an 82-year-old man was thrown out of the UK Labour Party conference because he dared to interject and say that Jack Straw was a liar because Jack Straw had said that the only reason that the British were in Iraq was to provide democracy to the Iraqi people. The old man was challenging that view because Tony Blair had said, as this government has said, that they went into Iraq over weapons of mass destruction. Another person stood up and said, ‘Leave the old man alone.’ He, too, was thrown out, and they were both detained under the new terrorism act in the UK. That old man was a refugee from Nazi Germany and had been a Labour Party member since before Tony Blair was born. That is how the terror laws are being used in the UK: to shield the government from criticism.

The crisis of confidence that is being shown here in Australia at the moment is that the Australian people have lost trust and confidence in their government.

They simply do not believe them anymore. John Howard, the Prime Minister, was shown to have lied about the ‘children overboard’ affair. As to the issue of the war in Iraq, quite clearly the weapons of mass destruction were not there. Then we have the issue of the SIEV X. For a long time the government insisted that the SIEV X had gone down in international waters. And now that has been changed - quietly changed - to say, ‘These days we’re not sure where the SIEV X went down.’ That is why people in Australia are very suspicious of and have little trust in what the government do. I would also like to correct Senator Sandy Macdonald’s statement that Senator Bob Brown hates the United States.

X-URL: http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/senate/dailys/ds061005.pdf

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