Government must come clean on locking up ten year olds

For three days, Justice Minister Michael Keenan has repeatedly stated it is the government’s plan to include children as young as 10 in its new legislation for a Commonwealth pre-charge detention regime.

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP

SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

SHADOW MINISTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY

MEMBER FOR ISAACS

 

GOVERNMENT MUST COME CLEAN ON LOCKING UP 10-YEAR-OLDS

 

For three days, Justice Minister Michael Keenan has repeatedly stated it is the government’s plan to include children as young as 10 in its new legislation for a Commonwealth pre-charge detention regime.

 

Patricia Karvelas: What is that age [at which the laws kick in]?

 

Michael Keenan: Well it could be as young as 10…

           
                                                                                       - ABC RN Drive, October 5 2017

 

Host: Changing topics, the Law Council has criticised the government's new terror laws that could see 10-year-olds held without charge. They have described it as draconian, there are few details at this stage, are you planning to introduce it?

 

Michael Keenan: We agreed with the state and territory leaders on Thursday that we will have a nationally consistent system of precharge detention.

                                                
                                                                                       - Saturday Sunrise October 8 2017

 

But today, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has backtracked, saying “there is actually no change”.

 

Just what is going on?

 

This government needs to come clean – will 10-year-olds be included in its new Commonwealth pre-charge detention legislation, or not? Who is right – Malcolm Turnbull or Michael Keenan?

 

How can the government not have its story straight on an issue as important as national security?

 

As always, Labor takes a bipartisan approach when it comes to keeping Australians safe. We will take any proposals put forward in the name of national security seriously – but this government needs to get its facts straight and provide the details on what it is actually proposing.

 

SUNDAY, 8 OCTOBER 2017