Community Safety

Transcript | 2GB Drive with Chris O'Keefe | 10 May 2024

May 10, 2024

Friday 10 May 2024
Interview on 2GB Drive with Chris O’Keefe
Subjects: High Court decision on ASF17, Muslim leader calls for ASIO DG to resign

CHRIS O'KEEFE: Shadow Home Affairs Minister Senator James Paterson is on the line. Senator, thanks for your time.

JAMES PATERSON: Good to be with you, Chris.

O'KEEFE: Could have just said we ballsed it up, right?

PATERSON: Well, I mean, the Commonwealth won in the High Court, that's a good thing. But this is probably the easiest case the Solicitor General has ever had to argue in the High Court. The alternative was absurd and ridiculous. So we shouldn't exactly be getting out the champagne glasses. And I suspect victims of the crimes committed by the released detainees are not popping out the champagne tonight.

O'KEEFE: What do you think they're obsessed with you guys, the federal government, it seems like Peter Dutton leaves rent free in the Immigration Ministers head.

PATERSON: I think it's because they've been shown to be both incompetent and weak, which is really a deadly combination. You can tolerate maybe one or the other, but when it's both, it's really disastrous for the community. And there's nothing much else they can do because they're unwilling to make the tough decisions in the national interest, except to try and make this about the opposition and make this about Peter Dutton. But Peter Dutton hasn't released a 153 hardened criminals into the community. He hasn't let half of them off from their obligation to be wearing an ankle bracelet. He didn't stuff up issuing their visas, which allowed them to be let off when they breached their visa conditions. He's not responsible for them reoffending in the community. Andrew Giles is responsible for that. Clare O'Neil is responsible for that. And Anthony Albanese is ultimately responsible for all of that.

O'KEEFE: I did notice, and I'll have a bit to say about this shortly, but the Grand Mufti of Australia has demanded an inquiry into what led to the arrests of seven teenagers on terrorism charges. And we've had other Sheiks in Australia say that they believe that Mike Burgess, the head of ASIO, should be sacked because he said that Sunni extremism is Australia's most pressing national security threat.

PATERSON: This is really, frankly, an outrageous call. Mike Burgess is a first class public servant. He serves no interest other than our national interest and our national security. And he's doing what he should be doing, which is correctly identifying the source of the threats to Australia and the safety of Australians. And the sad reality is, is that if you look back over the charges and convictions of terrorism offences since 9/11 in Australia, overwhelmingly they have been Sunni violent extremists, and it is a perversion of Islam, but it's a reality. And if we're not open to talking about that and being direct about that, then we are going to make this problem much worse.

O'KEEFE: We talk about right wing extremism. We talk about all sorts of extremism. Any threat we need to talk about it and talk about it openly. And you can't blame the police nor Mike Burgess for acting on that. Senator, I appreciate your time.

PATERSON: Thanks for having me.


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