MP tells Abbott to be tough with citizenship plan
FEDERAL Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd has voiced his concerns over anti-terrorism citizenship changes, urging Prime Minister Tony Abbott to go ahead with his tough stance on possible new citizenship laws.
Mr O'Dowd was one of 40 backbenchers who yesterday signed a petition calling for a tougher approach to terrorist recruits.
"The Prime Minister has stated publicly that voters expect our government to stay strong on this issue, but he needs to go further than the current changes that have been proposed," Mr O'Dowd said.
"This is a very serious issue, and something that requires immediate action."
Mr Abbott is proposing to cancel the citizenship of dual-national terrorists and examine stripping citizenship from Australian-born terrorists.
But Mr O'Dowd is concerned that this won't be enough to limit possible terrorist activity inside Australia.
"There is a very real risk that if we only limit the revocation power to those with dual citizenship, we will fail to capture many already serving prison sentences in Australia," Mr O'Dowd said.
"We need to include Australian-born nationals in any changes to the laws, because there's no point in doing things half-baked."
Mr O'Dowd has pointed to the UK as a potential template on which Australia could base future anti-terrorism laws, saying that current laws in the British Isles had proven effective.
"Britain has an effective model for handling this situation, and we've asked the Prime Minister to consider adopting similar laws," he said.
"Since David Cameron fast-tracked the Conservative Party's policies on anti-terrorism, people in Britain have been able to sleep more peacefully at night."
Mr Abbott hasn't yet directly answered questions relating to the petition, but said he would read the document.