Lambie steps up rhetoric over burqa – February 2017
Tasmanian independent Senator Jacqui Lambie has tabled a Private Member’s Bill which would make it an offence to wear full face coverings in a public place under Commonwealth jurisdiction, as well as making it offence to force another person or child to wear a full face covering – unless otherwise authorised or excused by law.
Senator Lambie’s Bill links the prohibition of full face coverings to the National Terrorism Threat Level.
The ban would be automatically activated when the terrorism threat level reaches the third highest alert rating of ‘Probable’, and remains in place for ‘Expected’ and ‘Certain’ ratings.
Currently, Australia’s official five-step terror alert level is set by the Government at ‘Probable’.
“While the National Terrorist Threat Level is at ‘Probable’ or higher, if this Bill passes Parliament, you will not be allowed to wear a full face covering in Commonwealth public places without a very good reason,” Senator Lambie said.
“This Bill s ensures the public is more safe – and feels safe at a time when terrorists are likely to attack.
“I know how some of the media will twist this: if you call me anti-Muslim, then you’d have to call countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Chad and Turkey anti-Muslim as well because they have all banned the burqa.
“I respect everyone’s right to express their religious beliefs by wearing different clothing, but the right to express in public religious beliefs for minority groups must always come second to the right for the overwhelming majority of Australians to be and feel safe during a time when it’s a matter of when, not if, the next terrorism attack happens.
No vote has been taken on Senator Lambie’s motion.