State leaders agreed Tuesday to help Australia's federal government enforce tough new anti-terror laws that Muslims fear could target the Islamic community, but the state leaders pushed through a condition that the proposed laws expire in a decade.
Prime Minister John Howard also gave in to state leaders' demands that the raft of laws, which have raised concerns about an erosion of civil rights, be reviewed after five years.
Although Howard's government can pass laws covering most of the measures, he needed cooperation from state governments to ensure the new laws are enforced across the country. He said drafts of the new laws should be ready in two-to-three weeks.
Although there has never been a major terror attack in Australia, observers fear that the government's support of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq has made the country a target. Moves to bolster terror laws gained fresh momentum since the deadly July attacks on London's public transport system.untry. He said drafts of the new laws should be ready in two-to-three weeks, reports the AP.