Uni staff wary of new anti-terrorist laws

News

Uni staff wary of new anti-terrorist laws

Proposed new state and federal anti-terrorism laws will increase the powers of police and security services and could have serious implications for staff working in Australian universities, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has warned.

WantToReadMore

Get unlimited access to all of our content.

Proposed new state and federal anti-terrorism laws will increase the powers of police and security services and could have serious implications for staff working in Australian universities, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has warned. 

The new laws were agreed to by Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments last week, but the full details are yet to be revealed. 

A motion voicing alarm over the potential impact of the proposed laws on the civil liberties of university staff and students was unanimously passed by more than  200 delegates from universities across Australia taking part in the Union’s National Council in Melbourne.  

‘The proposed laws may lead to surveillance of university staff and students’ research and teaching, including their use of library and Internet materials and their attendance at seminars and conferences,’ said Dr Carolyn Allport, NTEU President.

‘There is also a risk that university administrators may be required to monitor staff and students on behalf of police and security services.’ 

UK experience spreading

Allport said the UK Government is moving to make compulsory a scheme under which universities currently may opt to alert the Government to overseas research applicants suspected of being involved in the development of weapons of mass destruction.’ 

‘Already, in late July this year, Australian Federal Police questioned a university student researching Palestinian suicide bombings after he bought and borrowed books on the subject,’ she said. ‘Exactly how the authorities identified the student is unclear.’ 

She said the NTEU is also concerned that the new anti-terrorism laws may enable police and security services to use their powers against participants in industrial, political and community campaigns.   

‘The deportation of US anti-corporate activist Scott Parkin on undisclosed grounds is a worrying sign of how these new powers could be used,’ Allport said.

Related

Public transport union concerned over bag search plan  

Hijab leads to discrimination 

 

Post details