I recently attended a public seminar offering practical advice and information for the creators of content. Defamation and Sedition Laws “A New Way of Talking?”
The standout speaker was Julian Burnside QC. He spoke eloquently, clearly and economically about the changes to basic rights we as Australians naively believed were somehow enshrined. Rights such as knowing what you are being charged with. Within the new legislation the only words permitted for utterance, by a detained person, when making a phone call are “I’m safe.”
I was left chilled by the lack of resistance to this legislation. Just how easy was it for Ruddock and HoWARd to push this through.
We are not safe from our government. We are also not being served by an opposition to the government.
Update: The ABC’s Media report recorded on the night and played it today (13 April). Audio download available here.
L-R Professor Jill McKeough, Raena Lea-Shannon, David Marr, The Hon. Bob Debus MP, Kate Gilchrist, David Levine QC RFD
Listening to questions from the floor
Julian Burnside QC
The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP