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Old 23rd Jun 2004, 07:51 AM   #1
Reason & Logic > Religion
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Australian "terror awareness" program back on

Main points in bold for those curious overseas readers.

The federal government's "be alert but not alarmed" terrorism awareness program looks set for a comeback in the run-up to this year's election.

With the federal government allegedly spending over $123 million on pre-election advertising, Prime Minister John Howard said that anti-terror campaign would be revisited in the months ahead.

The campaign, which started with a humble fridge magnet, won an Australian Association of National Advertisers award last year.

Mr Howard said it was an effective message that deserved another hearing.

"Many of the jocular, derisive, critical references to that campaign when it was first launched have, in the fullness of time, have been demonstrated to have been totally wrong," Mr Howard told a national security summit of 40 senior business leaders in Parliament House.

"We all understand - whether we're in government or business - the value of effective communication of a message.

"And it does make a lot of sense, that message, and ... we intend to revisit that campaign in an appropriate tailored way in the weeks and months ahead."

The campaign aims to make Australians aware of what to do in a terrorist emergency and to encourage them to contact a national security hotline to report suspicious activity.

Mr Howard dismissed concerns that its revival might be attacked as electioneering.

"I would be amazed if the Labor Party attacked the government for doing anything that is reasonably necessary or incidental to the ongoing campaign and the ongoing responsibility we all have to ensure that this country is as prepared as it can be and as protected as it can be," Mr Howard told reporters later.

But opposition finance spokesman Bob McMullan said the government had already spent more than $12.5 million on election advertising this year.

"This obscene frenzy will, over the course of the next few months, see $123 million of taxpayers' money directed toward the re-election hopes of the Howard government," Mr McMullan told reporters.

Following the summit, a handpicked half dozen of Australia's top business leaders will form a top level consultative group to give advice and feedback to the federal government on national security.

The group will advise the government on the best ways to protect critical infrastructure - such as the national energy grid, transport networks, food supply, banking networks and national icons - from terrorist attacks.

Leaders from companies ranging from Telstra to Qantas heard from ASIO chief Dennis Richardson, Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Keelty and Mr Howard about security issues.

"The key message from today was the need to build together on the good work that's already been done and ensure lines of communication between government and business remain open," Attorney-General Philip Ruddock told parliament.

"But it can't be done alone and the willingness of business to engage with government on these issues to engage in a genuine partnership is particularly welcome."

Mr Howard said he was happy with the level of cooperation the business community had given the government on protecting vital infrastructure, such as railway lines, oil rigs and airports, from terrorist attacks.

But he urged them to work harder to protect their infrastructure from terrorist attacks, warning that another Madrid-style bombing was likely somewhere around the world in coming months.
Well, at least I'll be mildly entertained during the election watching this stupid campaign again...

"If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America" - Nelson Mandela, at the International Women's Forum
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Old 23rd Jun 2004, 07:55 AM   #2
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I liked reading the survival information given out by the US government in case of chemical attack!

telling people that water can be purified using bleach.....I always had images of emergency hospitals being inundated by people poisoned by "Fuzzy Peach Toilet Cleaner"!!
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Old 23rd Jun 2004, 12:40 PM   #3
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You mean I get another fridge magnet to keep me safe from terrorists? Or is forcing school children to stare at our flag every day supposed to protect me from terrorists?

And I agree, why the hell are my tax dollars being spent on the election campaign for someone I intend to vote against? (I'm voting for Peter Garrett, and therefore Labour & Mark Latham et al)
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Last edited by jaunty; 23rd Jun 2004 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 23rd Jun 2004, 12:42 PM   #4
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If Australia re-elects howard we should go ahead and napalm the whole country. Its for the best.
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Old 23rd Jun 2004, 12:43 PM   #5
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If the current polls stay the same, Mark Latham wins and we bail out of Iraq faster than we got in there.
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Old 25th Jun 2004, 10:09 AM   #6
bugs are features too ...
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Curious headline for the article though :
Terrorism campaign to start again
then again ... election campaigns are terrorist activities
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Old 26th Jun 2004, 03:49 AM   #7
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Especially a John Howard election campaign.

I believe this year's mantra is "Mark Latham is a danger to the United States of America"

Fuck it. I can't think of a better reason to vote for Labour. The fact that Bush hates him is another good reason. The fact that we'll be out of Iraq by christmas assuming the election is held in a timely fashion is another great reason. The fact that the trend of americanizing our country will come to a grinding halt is the best reason.

Fuck John Howard. If I wanted an American running the country I would've voted for one.
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