» Monday, February 14, 2005


Asked if he would characterise the meetings between the Prime Minister and leaders of the two main opposition parties this week as a negotiation, the PMOS said he would not characterise it in that way. No one was in any doubt that the issues of house-arrest and the use of intercepts as evidence were serious issues with many serious difficulties that lay behind them. This meeting would be a chance to discuss those serious issues, but the Government had not put forward its’ proposals lightly on either matter. Therefore he would not anticipate any big announcement following Friday’s discussions. He would anticipate a serious discussion about serious issues.

Asked how firmly the Government was standing by the use of house arrest in this situation, the PMOS said that the control orders would allow a range of options. At the top end those would include what could be considered extreme measures. Those measures however, were a response to extreme circumstances, in a few, rare cases.

Asked if it was the Government’s intention to pass the legislation before an election, the PMOS said that at the time of the announcement we had said we aimed to pass the legislation into law as quickly as possible but it was a matter for the business managers. Asked if the Government had completely ruled out wire-tap evidence, the PMOS said that he thought he was right in saying that there had now been six reviews of such evidence. On each occasion the end result had been the same: that superficially it may seem like a good idea, in reality it would not make that much difference and it would do so at the cost of potentially putting intelligence sources at risk. In terms of the national interests the conclusion had always been that that was not a wise thing to do.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Search for related news

1 Comment »

  1. Paraphrased –

    "We already tap your phones but really wouldn’t like anyone to know how much of this goes on so we won’t be putting anything in place that would compromise our extensive monitoring activities".

    The PMOS went on to say –

    "I can enlighten you further by telling you that the meeting is about how to get Charles married and the legislation needed because of the exclusion in the Marriage Act which presently prohibits a civil wedding"

    Comment by Roger Huffadine — 16 Feb 2005 on 7:36 am | Link

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