Aussie law chiefs urge terror law changes

Oct. 31, 2005 at 7:46 PM
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CANBERRA, Australia, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Australia's state law chiefs have urged changes to the controversial new anti-terror laws.

Solicitors-general from across the country have recommended at least three changes to the Federal Government's proposed counter-terrorism laws. As a result, state and territory leaders look set to miss Prime Minister John Howard's deadline to sign off on the planned legislation, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported Tuesday.

Most of the state premiers and chief ministers said they need more time to consider the bill, which the Prime Minister wants introduced to Parliament this week, ABC reported.

In a phone conference Monday night, the solicitors-general drafted their response to the final version of the bill, ABC said.

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie told Channel Nine the recommendations relate to constitutional and judicial issues, as well as the referral of powers to the Commonwealth and the implementation of the public interest monitor (PIM).

"All the states have got legitimate issues and some of them are different. I think it's fair to say no one's being obstructionist," he said.

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