Chronology of legislative developments

This chronology details legislative and other legal developments at the federal level since 11 September 2001.

A summary of legislation is also available for 2001-mid 2005 in the Attorney-General's Dept 2005 Budget background paper Security Environment Update. Scroll down to "Legislation". This is updated annually (see Budgets > [Date of budget] > Portfolio Budget Information Kit > Fact or Information Sheets. See also regular reports submitted by the Government to the United Nations on terrorism legislation, although these now stop at 2006.

Legislation introduced during the 43rd Parliament (September 2010+)

Legislation introduced during the 42nd Parliament (2008-July 2010)

Legislation introduced during 2007

Legislation introduced during 2006

Legislation introduced during 2005

Legislation introduced during 2004

Legislation introduced during 2003

Legislation introduced during 2002

Legislation introduced during 2001

Federal legislation relating to terrorism as at 11 September 2001

Legislation introduced during the 43rd Parliament (September 2010+)

Click here to run a search on the Parliament House website to retrieve Government and private terrorism bills introduced during the Gillard Government, September 2010+.

Click here to run a search on the Parliament House website to retrieve Government and private security related bills introduced during the Gillard Government, September 2010+.

Legislation introduced during the 42nd Parliament (2008-July 2010)

Click here to run a search on the Parliament House website to retrieve Government and private terrorism bills introduced during the Rudd / Gillard Government, 2008-2010.

Click here to run a search on the Parliament House website to retrieve Government and private security related bills introduced during the Rudd / Gillard Government, 2008-2010.

Legislation introduced during 2007

December 21
Second control order under terrorism legislation made [on David Hicks] (Jabbour v Hicks [2007] FMCA 2139) interim order; [2008] FMCA 178 interim order confirmed). See also Anti-terrorism control orders in Australia and the United Kingdom: a comparison (2008)

September 20
Communications Legislation Amendment (Crime or Terrorism Related Internet Content) Bill 2007 introduced..
Amends the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 to expand the ‘black list’ of internet addresses maintained by the Australian Communications and Media Authority to include terrorism and cyber crime websites hosted domestically and overseas. The Bill lapsed at the November election

August 2
High Court upholds the constitutional validity of control orders made under terrorism legislation (Thomas v Mowbray [2007] HCA 33)

July 1
Terrorist car bomb attack on Glasgow Airport (UK). On 29 June 2 car bombs were defused in London. On 2 July Dr Mohamed Haneef was arrested in Brisbane and charged on 14 July with recklessly providing assistance (a mobile phone SIM card) to a relative later charged over the UK attacks. On 16 July, after being granted bail by a Brisbane magistrate, Dr Haneef has his 457 work visa revoked by the Immigration Minister and is held in detention pending his commital hearing on 31 August. On 27 July the Director of Public Prosecutions after reviewing the material withdraws the charge. The Immigration Minister returns Dr Haneef's passport and he returns to India to visit his family on 28 July. (Minister for Immigration & Citizenship v Haneef [2007] FCAFC 203 (21 December 2007)

June 21
Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment (Terrorist Material) Bill 2007 (Act no. 179, 2007) introduced. Referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee to report by 30 July.
Amends the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 to require that publications, films or computer games which advocate the doing of a terrorist act must be classified as ‘refused classification’.

Aviation Legislation Amendment (2007 Measures No. 1) Bill 2007 (Act no. 131, 2007) introduced. Referred to the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport for report by 30 July.
Amends the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 and the Civil Aviation Act 1988 to align aviation security measures with maritime security measures; extends security measures to outside airport boundaries and implements drug and alcohol management plans for aviation personnel.

June 14
Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment Bill 2007 (Act no. 177, 2007) introduced. Exposure Draft released February 2007. Referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee to report by 1 August.
Iimplements the recommendations arising from the review of the regulation of access to communications and make other measures to improve the operational effectiveness of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979.

February 14
Aviation Transport Security Amendment (Additional Screening Measures) Bill 2007 (Act no. 30, 2007) introduced.
Amends the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 to make regulations to cover liquids, aerosols and gels and to allow for appropriate frisk searches at screening points.

Legislation introduced during 2006

December 6
Non-Proliferation Legislation Amendment Bill 2006 (Act no. 50, 2007) introduced.
Implements amendments to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, done at Vienna on 8 July 2005.

November 29
Crimes Legislation Amendment (National Investigative Powers and Witness Protection) Bill 2006 introduced. Referred to Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee, which reported on 7 February 2007. Bill lapsed with 2007 election.
Enables more effective investigation of terrorism offences and multi-jurisdictional and organised crime.

November 1
Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Bill 2006 (Act no. 169, 2006) + Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Bill 2006 (Act no. 170, 2006) introduced.
Implements the revised Forty Recommendations released in June 2003 by the OECD-based Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering and key elements of the Task Force’s Special Recommendations on Terrorist Financing (the Recommendations set the international anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism standard).

September 7
Law and Justice Legislation Amendment (Marking of Plastic Explosives) Bill 2006 (Act no 3, 2007) introduced.
Provides for the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purposes of Detection. Creates an offence under the Criminal Code to possess, manufacture, traffic in and import or export plastic explosives which do not have a chemical detection marker.

August 27
First control order issued under anti-terrorism legislation [to Jack Thomas] by Federal Magistrates Court (Jabbour v Thomas [2006] FMCA 1286 (27 August 2006)).

August 10
24 people arrested in UK and Pakistan under suspicion of planning to bomb 10 trans Atlantic flights. On 21 August 11 were charged with conspiracy to murder and various terrorism related offences.

July 24
Attorney-General criticises Australian Capital Territory anti-terrorism legislation and requests that it be amended to conform to other State legislation.
Communique issued by third meeting of the Business-Government Advisory Group on National Security.

March 29
ASIO Legislation Amendment Bill 2006 (Act no. 54, 2006) introduced.
In response to recommendations of the former Parliamentary Joint Committee on ASIO, ASIS and DSD (now the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security), the bill amends the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 to: extend the existing sunset clause and prior joint committee review period by 10 years to 22 July 2016 and 22 January 2016, respectively; clarify the operation of the warrant regime in relation to warrants for questioning and warrants for questioning and detention; and clarify rights of persons questioned or detained under the warrant regime.

Aviation Transport Security Amendment Bill 2006 (Act no. 97, 2006) introduced.
Amends the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 to: amend the regulatory arrangements for airport security by creating event zones that may be used for handling special events at an airport; regulate the security and clearance processes for domestic and international cargo before it is taken onto an aircraft; allow the Secretary to approve alterations to an existing Transport Security Program; and make technical amendments.

Customs Legislation Amendment (Border Compliance and Other Measures) Bill 2006 (Act no. 5, 2007) introduced. Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee report.
Amends the: Customs Act 1901 in relation to: disposal of dangerous goods; access of security identification card holders to section 234AA places, ships, aircrafts and wharves; minor corrections to provisions implementing the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement; provision of updated information in respect of security identification cards to Customs; implementation of an Accredited Client Program; and protection from criminal responsibility for Customs officers handling narcotic goods in the course of duty and others acting under instructions from Customs officers; and Customs Act 1901 and Customs Legislation Amendment Act (No. 1) 2003 in relation to issue of seizure warrants.

Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Amendment (Security Plans and Other Measures) Bill 2006 (Act no. 109, 2006) introduced. Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee report.
Amends: the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003 to: simplify the procedures for making changes to maritime, ship and offshore facilities security plans; clarify measures relating to the plan approval process; and make technical amendments to clarify the intent of the Act; 18 Acts to make technical amendments as a consequence of the commencement of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003; and Customs Act 1901 to reflect the name change to the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003.

March 2
Australian Law Reform Commission asked to review the sedition provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act (No 2) 2005. It reported in July 2006. Report no. 104.

February 16
Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Bill 2006 (Act no. 40, 2006) introduced. Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee report.
Amends the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979 to: establish a warrant regime for enforcement agencies to access stored communications held by a telecommunications carrier; and amend the long and short titles of the Act to reflect this access; and makes consequential amendment to 9 other Acts to reflect the Act’s changed title. Also amends the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979 to: enable interception of communications of a person known to communicate with a person of interest; permit equipment-based interception; remove the distinction between class 1 and class 2 offences; remove the Telecommunications Interception Remote Authority Connection function currently exercised by the Australian Federal Police and transfer the associated warrant register function to the Attorney-General’s Department; and make other amendments in relation to the ongoing operation of the interception regime.

Legislation introduced during 2005

December 16
Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Bill 2005: Exposure Draft. Referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee to report by 13 April 2006.
Proposes a number of amendments to Australia's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing system, in line with international standards issued by the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering.

. Referred to the to report by 13 April 2006.Proposes a number of amendments to Australia's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing system, in line with international standards issued by the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering.

November 3
Anti-Terrorism Bill (No. 2) 2005 (Act no. 144, 2005) introduced. Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee report. Draft of bill (version 63) as posted on the BoeLawyers website on 31 October. Comparison of the draft Bills with the Bill as introduced.

Amends several Acts to implement COAG agreed legislation (see September 27 below). Provides for control orders over terrorist suspects for up to 12 months, allows suspects to be held in preventative detention for up to 14 days, bans organisations which incite terrorism, creates offences for urging hostility towards various groups and updates sedition offences

November 2
Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005 (Act no. 127, 2005) introduced. First part of COAG agreed legislation. Amends the existing offences in the Criminal Code to clarify that it is not necessary to identify a particular terrorist act upon proving the offence.
For the first time, the government receives advice on a potential terrorist threat but will not reveal details.

October 12
Security Legislation Review Committee, chaired by Hon Simon Sheller QC, established to review terrorism legislation introduced since 2002

October 6
Press conference following briefing to the Muslim Reference Group re the proposed terrorism laws

October 1
Second wave of bombings of Bali holiday venues

September 27
Communique of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG - Commonwealth, State and Territory governments) meeting on terrorism laws

September 15
Communique of the Roundtable on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing between the Minister for Justice and Customs and the accountancy sector

September 14
Law and Justice Legislation Amendment (Video Link Evidence and Other Measures) Bill 2005 (Act no. 136, 2005) introduced. Amends the: Crimes Act 1914 to: facilitate the use of video link evidence from overseas witnesses in proceedings for terrorism and other related offences and proceeds of crime proceedings relating to those offences; clarify a constitutional issue regarding the conferral of non-judicial functions and powers on Judges of the Federal Court and Federal Magistrates; facilitate inter-jurisdictional matching of DNA profiles through a national database; and expand the definition of “tape recording”; Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988 to rectify an unintended omission; Foreign Evidence Act 1994 to facilitate the use of foreign material, such as video tapes and transcripts of examinations, as evidence in terrorism and related proceedings when video link evidence is not possible; and provide a discretion to prevent foreign material being adduced; Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to: enable payments out of the Confiscated Assets Account to third parties who carry out examinations for the Commonwealth; and rectify the unintended consequence of a regulation change that inadvertently affected the legal status of some examiners; and Surveillance Devices Act 2004 to enable the issue of a warrant to retrieve a tracking device installed under an authorisation.

September 8
After an internal review of terrorism legislation as a result of the July London bombings, the Prime Minister announces more changes to terrorism legislation dealing with preventative detention, police powers and incitement laws

August 23
Statement of Principles issued by the Australian Government Meeting with Islamic Community Leaders

August 16
Communique issued by second meeting of the Industry Roundtable on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing. The first meeting was on 21 July 2005

August 12
Communique issued by second meeting of the Business-Government Advisory Group on National Security. The first meeting was in December 2004.

July 21
Communique issued by first meeting of the Industry Roundtable on Anti-Money Laundering

July 7
Bombings of London underground rail network and a bus

June 23
Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Amendment (Maritime Security Guards and Other Measures) Bill 2005 (Act no. 103, 2006) introduced. Bills Digest. Amends the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003 in relation to: limited move-on powers for maritime security guards, including the power to request certain information from a person found in a maritime security zone; clarifying certain meanings; higher security level declarations; and correcting references to ship enforcement orders.

May 25
Maritime Transport Security Amendment Bill 2005 (Act no. 67, 2005) introduced. Amends the Maritime Transport Security Act 2003 to: amend the long title of the Act and rename it as the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003; extend application of the Act to Australia’s offshore oil and gas facilities; and introduce the Maritime Security Identification Card which will cover unmonitored personnel who are required to be in maritime security zones and offshore security zones.

March 10
National Security Information Legislation Amendment Bill 2005 (Act no. 89, 2005) introduced. Amends the National Security Information Act 2004 to extend the operation of the Act to include certain civil proceedings.

February 9
National Security Information (Criminal Proceeding) Amendment (Application) Bill 2005 (Act no. 27, 2005) introduced. Amends the National Security Information (Criminal Proceedings) Act 2004 to clarify the application of the Act to certain federal criminal proceedings.

Legislation introduced during 2004

Note that Parliament was prorogued for the 2004 election on 31 August and as a result bills which had not passed both chambers lapsed.

November 17

Aviation Security Amendment Bill 2004 (Act no. 149, 2004) reintroduced (see August 11 below)

National Security Information (Criminal Proceedings) Bill 2004 (Act no. 150, 2004) reintroduced (see May 27 below)

National Security Information (Criminal Proceedings) (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2004 (Act no. 151, 2004) reintroduced (see May 27 below)

Surveillance Devices Bill 2004 (Act no. 152, 2004) reintroduced. (see June 24 and March 24 below)

Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment (Stored Communications) Bill 2004 (Act no. 148, 2004) reintroduced (see May 27 below)

September 9
Bombing of Australian Embassy, Jakarta

August 31
Federal Parliament prorogued for 2004 election. As a result, bills which have not passed both chambers lapsed.

August 11
Aviation Security Amendment Bill 2004 introduced (lapsed; reintroduced 17th November). Amends the: Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 and Civil Aviation Act 1988 to allow background checking of holders of security designated authorisations (particularly flight crew); Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 to include contractors of Airservices Australia as aviation industry participants; and Aviation Transport Security (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Act 2004 to allow certain programs under the Air Navigation Act 1920 to continue as programs under the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004.

August 4
Crimes Legislation Amendment (Telecommunications Offences and Other Measures) (No. 2) Bill 2004 (Act no. 127, 2004) introduced. Committee report. Introduced new telecommunications offences into the Criminal Code Act 1995 including: (1) using a carriage service for a hoax threat (maximum penalty: imprisonment for 10 years); (2) using a carriage service in a way that reasonable people would regard as menacing, harassing or offensive. This offence specifically includes behaviour directed at the National Security Hotline. (maximum penalty: imprisonment for 3 years). This offence does not require an intention to harass, menace or be offensive or that the victim was in fact harassed, menaced or offended.

June 24
Anti-terrorism Bill (No. 3) 2004 (Act no. 125, 2004) introduced. Amends the: Passports Act 1938 to give authorities certain powers to demand, confiscate and seize foreign passports; Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 to give the ASIO powers to demand the surrender of Australian and foreign passports in certain circumstances; and Crimes Act 1914 to facilitate effective disaster victim identification and criminal investigation in the event of a mass casualty incident within Australia.

Surveillance Devices Bill (No. 2) 2004 reintroduced (see March 24). Lapsed. Reintroduced 17/11/04. Act no. 152, 2004. Establishes procedures for obtaining warrants, emergency authorisations and authorisations for the installation and use of surveillance devices in Australia and overseas in relation to criminal investigations and child recovery orders; and regulates the use, communication, publication, storage, destruction and making of records in connection with surveillance device operations. Also makes consequential amendments to the Australian Federal Police Act 1979, Criminal Code Act 1995, Customs Act 1901 and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1987; and contains transitional and savings provisions and a regulation-making power.

June 17
Anti-terrorism Bill (No. 2) 2004 (Act no. 124, 2004) introduced. Committee report. Revises Australia’s counter-terrorism framework by amending the: Criminal Code Act 1995 to insert a new offence relating to association with a terrorist organisation; Transfer of Prisoners Act 1983 to provide for the transfer of prisoners between State and Territory prisons for security reasons; and Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 to make decisions of the Attorney-General made on security grounds exempt from the application of the Act.

May 27
National Security Information (Criminal Proceedings) Bill 2004 introduced. Lapsed. Reintroduced 17/11/04. Act no. 150. Committee report. Provides for the issue of an Attorney-Generals certificate to protect information from disclosure in federal criminal proceedings where the disclosure is likely to prejudice national security.

National Security Information (Criminal Proceedings) (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2004 introduced. Lapsed. Reintroduced 17/11/04. Act no. 151. Amends the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 to limit a courts jurisdiction to determine a defendants application for review; and to exclude a person from requesting a written statement of reasons from the Attorney-General; and Judiciary Act 1903 to give the relevant Supreme Court jurisdiction in respect of applications for writs of mandamus or prohibition, or injunctions.

Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment (Stored Communications) Bill 2004 introduced. Lapsed. Reintroduced 17/11/04. Act no. 148, 2004. Committee report. Amends the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979 to exclude access to stored communications from the current prohibition against interception of communications.

March 31
Anti-terrorism Bill 2004 (Act no. 104, 2004) introduced. Committee report. Amends: Crimes Act 1914 to: extend fixed investigation periods for investigations into suspected terrorism offences; and permit law enforcement agencies to suspend or delay questioning a suspect to make overseas inquiries; Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Act 1978 in relation to foreign incursions offences; Criminal Code Act 1995 in relation to: terrorist organisation membership offences; and offences of providing training to or receiving training from a terrorist organisation; and Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in relation to commercial exploitation by persons who have committed foreign indictable offences.

March 24
Surveillance Devices Bill 2004 introduced.  Reintroduced 24 /6/04 (as Bill No. 2) and again on 17/11/04. Act no. 152. Committee report. Establishes procedures for obtaining warrants, emergency authorisations and authorisations for the installation and use of surveillance devices in Australia and overseas in relation to criminal investigations and child recovery orders; and regulates the use, communication, publication, storage, destruction and making of records in connection with surveillance device operations. Also makes consequential amendments to the Australian Federal Police Act 1979, Criminal Code Act 1995, Customs Act 1901 and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1987; and contains transitional and savings provisions and a regulation-making power.

March 11
Bombing of Madrid commuter trains

February 19
Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Bill 2004 (Act no. 55, 2004) introduced. Committee report. Amends the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979 to: extend the availability of telecommunications interception warrants to additional serious offences; extend the protections of the Act in relation to text-based communications; facilitate the recording of calls to publicly-listed Australian Security Intelligence Organisation numbers; and clarify the application of the Act to delayed access message services. Also contains a transitional provision.

Legislation introduced during 2003

November 26
ASIO Legislation Amendment Bill 2003 (Act no 143, 2003) introduced. Enhances the capacity of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) to exercise its powers for questioning and detaining persons who have information important to the gathering of intelligence in relation to a terrorism offence.

(Act no 143, 2003) introduced. Enhances the capacity of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) to exercise its powers for questioning and detaining persons who have information important to the gathering of intelligence in relation to a terrorism offence.

November 5
Criminal Code Amendment (Hamas and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba) Bill 2003 (Act no. 109, 2003) introduced. Amends the Criminal Code Act 1995 to allow the Hamas’ military wing (Izz al-Din al Qassam Brigades) and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba to be listed as terrorist organisations in regulations, provided the statutory criteria for listing are met. Also provides for the listings to operate retrospectively from the date of the public announcement of the Government’s intention to list the organisations in regulations.

September 18
Maritime Transport Security Bill 2003 (Act no. 131, 2003) introduced. Title of Act changed in 2005 to: Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003. Committee report . Establishes a maritime transport security regulatory framework, including an enforcement regime and provides for flexibility to respond to the changing threat environment; and aligns Australian maritime transport security with international obligations under the Safety of Life at Sea Convention 1974.

June 2
Simon Crean (Australian Labor Party) introduces the Criminal Code Amendment (Hezbollah External Terrorist Organisation) Bill 2003 to ban the Hezbollah terrorist organisation. First Reading speech (pp 15042-15043). The Attorney-General in a press release claims that the bill is "constitutionally uncertain"

May 30
Australia signs Memorandum of Understanding with the South Korea on counter-terrorism (Press release)

May 29
Criminal Code Amendment (Terrorist Organisations) Bill 2003 (Act no. 7, 2004) and Criminal Code Amendment (Hizballah) Bill 2003 (Act no. 44, 2003) introduced to ban the Hezbollah terrorist organisation and to allow the government to ban terrorist organisations without reference to the United Nations list. Note that both bills together are unnecessary to outlaw Hezbollah. Either bill would achieve the government's objective

March 27
Aviation Transport Security Bill 2003 (Act no. 8, 2004) introduced. Bills Digest -- Committee report. Introduced with the Aviation Transport Security (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2003, the bill: restructures the aviation security regulatory framework and provides for flexibility to respond to the changing threat environment; aligns Australian aviation security with the revised International Civil Aviation Organisation standards; and introduces graduated penalties for a more equitable enforcement regime.

March 20
Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Bill 2002 [No. 2] [2003] (Act no. 77, 2003) reintroduced after being withdrawn on 13 December 2002. Bills Digest to the revised Bill.

March 4
Australia signs Memorandum of Understanding with the Philippines on counter-terrorism (Press release)

February 5
Australia signs the 13th Memorandum of Understanding [with Canada] to exchange financial intelligence to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism (Press release)

Legislation introduced during 2002

December 12
Criminal Code Amendment (Terrorism) Bill 2002 (Act no 40, 2003) introduced. Bills Digest. Re-enacts Part 5.3 of the Criminal Code (which contains federal terrorism offences enacted in June 2002, and amended in October 2002) so that it would attract the support of State references of power in accordance with section 51(xxxvii) of the Constitution.
Charter of the United Nations (Terrorism and Dealings with Assets) Regulations 2002 [Statutory Rule 2002 No. 314] made, repealing the Charter of the United Nations (Anti-terrorism Measures) Regulations 2001

(Act no 40, 2003) introduced. . Re-enacts Part 5.3 of the Criminal Code (which contains federal terrorism offences enacted in June 2002, and amended in October 2002) so that it would attract the support of State references of power in accordance with section 51(xxxvii) of the Constitution. [Statutory Rule 2002 No. 314] made, repealing the . 

November 14
Charter of the United Nations Amendment Bill 2002 (Act no. 124, 2002) introduced to allow holders of terrorist assets, as well as owners, to apply for permission to deal with freezable assets.

November 13-15
First meeting of National Counter-Terrorism Committee, which replaces the Standing Advisory Committee for Commonwealth/State Cooperation for the Protection Against Violence (SAC-PAV) (Communique)

November 12
Criminal Code Amendment (Offences against Australians) Bill 2002 (Act no. 106, 2002) introduced, implementing the decision of 24 October to create an offence to murder or harm Australians outside Australia.

November 8
State and Territory Attorneys-General agree to pass legislation to refer constitutional power to the Commonwealth in the area of counter-terrorism in order to strengthen the validity of federal laws in this area (News release)

October 27
Government outlaws Jemaah Islamiyah, a terrorist organisation suspected of being behind the Bali Bombings (Criminal Code Amendment Regulations 2002 (No. 3) [Statutory Rule no. 250 of 2002]

October 24
After a meeting of the Prime Minister and State and Territory leaders, the Prime Minister announces new measures as a result of the Review of Commonwealth Counter-Terrorism Arrangements started on 12 October. Measures include:   Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to take over responsibility for counter-terrorism policy from the Attorney-General's Department and introduction of an extra-territorial murder offence where Australians have been victims of atrocities overseas. The legislation will operate retrospectively from 1 October 2002. (Press release)

October 23
Criminal Code Amendment (Terrorist Organisations) Bill 2002 (Act no. 89, 2002) introduced and passed the same day to enable outlawed terrorist organisation regulations to take immediate effect

October 22
Crimes Amendment Bill 2002 (Act no. 88, 2002) introduced to allow Crimtrac, the national DNA database, to be used to identify Bali victims

October 21
Government outlaws the Al Qaeda terrorist organisation (Criminal Code Amendment Regulations 2002 (No. 2) [Statutory Rule no. 249 of 2002]

October 12
Bali terrorist bombings kill Australians and other nationals. Government orders review of current terrorist legislation (Press release)

August 9
Australia becomes a party to the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings (as from 8 September). (Press release)

June 4
Attorney-General announces changes to terrorism bills in the light of the Senate Committee report (News Release). Interview with Christopher Pyne MP about the changes. Most bills pass through Parliament by 27 June, receive the Royal Assent on 3-5 July and become law.

April 5
Leaders Summit on Terrorism and Multi-jurisdictional Crime provides for significant changes to terrorism management (News release)
Commonwealth / States and Territories Agreement on Terrorism and Multi-jurisdictional Crime

March 21
Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Act 2002 introduced. Provides for the detention and questioning of people for up to 48 hours in order to gather information about terrorist attacks. The bill was referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee (Reports 18/6/2002, 3/12/2002) and the Joint Parliamentary Committee on ASIO, ASIS and DSD. In addition, the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills report highlights concerns with human rights issues. Because of adverse committee comments, the bill was withdrawn on 13 December 2002 and reintroduced with amendments on 20 March 2003 becoming act no. 77 of 2003

March 12
The government's main package of anti-terrorism legislation introduced:

Security Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Bill 2002 [no. 2] (Act no. 65, 2002) [Bill no. 1 was withdrawn on 13 March because of a drafting error and bill no. 2 was substituted]. Defines "terrorist act" and makes it an offence;

Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism Bill 2002 (Act no. 66, 2002);

Criminal Code Amendment (Suppression of Terrorist Bombings) Bill 2002 (Act no. 58, 2002);

Border Security Legislation Amendment Bill 2002 (Act no. 64, 2002) and the

Telecommunications Interception Legislation Amendment Bill 2002. (Act no.67, 2002).

Explanatory memorandum, the Attorney-General's 2nd reading speech, Parliamentary debates and bills digest for each bill are linked to the names of the bills above. The bills were referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee, which reported in May 2002

February 13
Criminal Code Amendment (Anti-Hoax and Other Measures) Bill 2002 (Act no. 9, 2002) introduced into Parliament. The first of the Goverment's package of anti-terrorism legislation.

Legislation introduced during 2001

As the House of Representatives was dissolved and the Parliament, including the Senate, was prorogued on 8 October 2001 prior to the general election on 10th November 2001, no legislation relating to terrorism was introduced into Parliament until February and March 2002. The government, however, made regulations under existing legislation in 2001 and these are listed below.  The result of the election was that the Liberal and National Party Coalition was returned.

 

 

 

December 21
Government lists in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette the names of terrorists and terrorist organisations whose assets must be frozen by the holder of those assets under the Charter of the United Nations (Anti-terrorism Measures) Regulations 2001. This implements Australia's obligation under UN Security Council Resolution 1373 of 28 September 2001. News release of the Attorney-General and Minister for Foreign Affairs containing Charter of the United Nations (Anti-terrorism - Persons and Entities) List 2001 and 2001 (No.2). For additions and amendments, see the Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade International Counter Terrorism page

December 18
Cabinet approves more anti-terrorism measures as a result of the internal review established on 26 September (Attorney-General's news release)

October 30
Prime Minister says that the Government will discuss with the States a proposal for a new Commonwealth constitutional power to fight terrorism (Prime Minister's news release)

October 21
Australia signs the 1999 United Nations International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (Attorney-General's news release)

October 16
Prime Minister proposes new anti-hoax legislation if re-elected after 10 November (Prime Minister's News release)

October 9
Charter of the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Regulations (Statutory Rule no 297/2001) made. Explanatory Statement [plain English guide]. Later repealed by the Charter of the United Nations (Terrorism and Dealings with Assets) Regulations 2002

October 8
Charter of the United Nations (Sanctions - Afghanistan) Amendment Regulations 2001 (Statutory Rule no 298/2001) made. Further implements the Security Council Resolution 1333, made on 19 December 2000, by, among other matters, imposing a freeze on the assets of Usama bin Laden and his associates

October 5
Reserve Bank of Australia gazettes a Variation of Authority under Regulation 39 of the Banking (Foreign Exchange) Regulations 1959 prohibiting foreign currency transactions with various terrorist organisations (Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, no. S 416, 5 October 2001) (Reserve Bank media release). Amended on 17th October (Gazette, no. S439) (Reserve Bank media release). Further amended on 9th November (Gazette, no. S462 of 2001) (Reserve Bank media release) and on 22 May 2002 (Gazette, no. GN 20). Government revokes Variations in September 2002 as they were superseded by the Charter of the United Nations (Anti-terrorism Measures) Regulations 2001 (Gazette no. GN 37 18 September 2002)

October 2
Cabinet approves new anti-terrorism legislation to be introduced if the government is returned after the election on 10 November (Attorney-General's news release)

September 26
Attorney-General's Dept establishes an interdepartmental committee to review federal counter-terrorism laws (Attorney-General's news release)

September 18
Attorney-General indicates that Australia is a party to 8 of the 11 anti-terrorism international conventions and provides information on implementing another 2 (Attorney-General's news release)

September 17
The Prime Minister tells Parliament that the events of 11 September constitute an attack on the United States under articles IV and V of the ANZUS Defence Treaty (House of Representatives Hansard, 17 September 2001, p. 30739) (Press release, 14th September 2001)

Federal legislation relating to terrorism as at 11 September 2001

Of all the Australian jurisdictions, only the Northern Territory had a specific terrorism criminal offence in 2001. Federal legislation which could be used against terrorists is listed below and includes offences such as aircraft hijacking, murder, bombing as well as criminal investigation legislation. Some legislation had been passed in order to implement international treaties on terrorism.

Air Navigation Act 1991. Part 3 Aviation security. Implements: Convention on International Civil Aviation; International Air Services Transit Agreement

Air Navigation Regulations 1947. Part 7 Aviation security

Australian Federal Police Act 1979

Australian Protective Service Act 1987

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1988

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979. This act originally contained a definition of terrorism in s. 4 which was removed by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act Amendment Act 1986 (No. 122 of 1986), s. 3. This definition was relied upon by the Classification of Publications Ordinance 1983 (A.C.T.) (No. 59 of 1983) which prohibited the classification of any publication which "promotes, incites or encourages terrorism". The reference to terrorism was removed by the Classification of Publications (Amendment) Ordinance 1989 (A.C.T.) (No 2 of 1989)

Banking (Foreign Exchange) Regulations 1946. Regulations 8(1)(a), 38-39

Charter of the United Nations (Sanctions - Afghanistan) Regulations 2001

Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Act 1994. Implements: Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction

Crimes Act 1914

Crimes (Aviation) Act 1991. Implements: Convention on Offences and certain other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft (the Tokyo Convention of 1963); Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft (the Hague Convention of 1970); and the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation (the Montreal Convention of 1971)

Crimes (Biological Weapons) Act 1976. Implements: Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction

Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) 1978

Crimes (Hostages) Act 1989. Implements: International Convention Against The Taking Of Hostages

Crimes (Internationally Protected Persons) Act 1976. Implements: Convention on the prevention and punishment of crimes against internationally protected persons, including diplomatic agents

Crimes (Ships and Fixed Platforms) Bill 1992. Implements: Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation and the Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf.

Criminal Code Act 1995. Sections 70, 89-89A, Parts II, IIA, VII

Customs Act 1901. Section 50

Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956. Regulation 4A Importation of objectionable goods

Defence Act 1903. Part III Division 1 Calling out and directing utilisation of Defence Force

Defence (Special Undertakings) Act 1952

Intelligence Services Act 2001

Migration Act 1958. Section 501 Refusal or cancellation of visa on character grounds

Migration Regulations 1994. Schedule 2 (786.224) Provisions with respect to the grant of Subclasses of visas

National Crime Authority Act 1984

National Road Transport Commission Act 1991. Section 41B National security and special circumstances exemptions — Australian Defence Force

Nuclear Non-Proliferation (Safeguards) Act 1987. Implements: Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1984. Section 140B Emergency periods

Proceeds of Crimes Act 1987

Public Order (Protection of Persons and Property) Act 1971

Telecommunications Act 1997. Part 16 Defence requirements and disaster plans

Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979

Weapons of Mass Destruction (Prevention of Proliferation) Act 1995. Further implements: Biological Weapons Convention, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Chemical Weapons Convention

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