AUS­TRALIA’S do­mes­tic spy agency wants beefed-up pow­ers to in­ter­ro­gate sus­pects as young as 14 and track cars with­out a war­rant to pro­tect the coun­try from lone-wolf at­tacks.

The Aus­tralian Se­cu­rity In­tel­li­gence Or­gan­i­sa­tion is seek­ing new pow­ers that would al­low op­er­a­tives to at­tach ba­sic track­ing de­vices to cars and place them in hand­bags with­out a war­rant to re­spond to threats fast.

It is also push­ing for laws that would al­low sus­pects as young as 14 to be in­ter­ro­gated, say­ing the rise of right-wing ex­trem­ism and the se­cu­rity threat of for­eign in­ter­fer­ence and es­pi­onage has made it nec­es­sary.

But lawyers voiced con­cerns on Fri­day that the pro­posed laws lacked safe­guards.

Law Coun­cil of Aus­tralia spokesman David Neal told a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee in Can­berra ASIO’s ques­tion­ing pow­ers un­der the Bill were broader than China’s se­cu­rity laws — a claim ve­he­mently de- nied by ASIO di­rec­tor-gen­eral Mike Burgess.

“To sug­gest that these bills are com­pa­ra­ble or in fact that our bill is worse is just beyond the pale. It’s com­pletely, com­pletely wrong,” he said.

The spy agency says the track­ing pow­ers, which would re­quire only in­ter­nal ap­proval or a tick from the At­tor­ney­Gen­eral, would en­able it to re­spond more quickly to se­cu­rity threats when of­fi­cers are con­duct­ing sur­veil­lance on lonewolf or smaller groups.

A COLOUR­FUL and mean­ing­ful piece of ab­stract art has helped Geelong In­dige­nous Aus­tralians to share im­por­tant sto­ries with the wider com­mu­nity.

Artists Kiri Wicks and Dr Jenny Mur­ray-Jones led a live-streamed col­lab­o­ra­tive paint­ing project to mark NAIDOC week.

The con­cept was the brain­child of the artists and other Na­tional In­dige­nous Knowl­edges Ed­u­ca­tion Re­search In­no­va­tion (NIKERI) In­sti­tute staff, in­clud­ing Tom Molyneux and Adam Tarter.

Ms Wicks said par­tic­i­pants en­gaged in story telling that she and Dr Mur­ray

Jones then through paint.

“It was a shared ex­pe­ri­ence of sto­ry­telling,” she said.

Ms Wicks said the sev­en­hour event in­cluded per­sonal story telling and in­depth aca­demic dis­cus­sions around black lives mat­ters.

She said it was im­por­tant to mark NAIDOC week in some way be­cause other events were post­poned to Novem­ber due to coro­n­avirus.

“We’ve had the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment and the pan­demic and it made us want to do some­thing for the NAIDOC week that con­nected us to com­mu­nity and cel­e­brated our his­tory and cul­ture,” Ms Wicks said. ex­pressed


SHAR­ING STO­RIES: To mark NAIDOC week, artists Kiri Wicks (front) and Jenny Mur­ray-Jones led a col­lab­o­ra­tive paint­ing project that was live-streamed.

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