Silver Meritorious Patron
. Posted at http://forums.whyweprotest.net/318-...gy/oz-minor-party-statement-re-inquiry-57396/Friday, November 27, 2009
Thank you for your email regarding Senator Nick Xenophon and his Adjournment speech about Scientology.
The Coalition vigorously supports religious freedom and the due process of law, as well as freedom of speech.
Senate committees are an important part of the process of law-making but should not try to act as de facto law enforcers.
Whilst the Parliament is an appropriate forum to air issues of concern, an issue such as Senator Xenophon’s allegations require great care in respect of stereotyping members of an organisation or indeed the organisation itself.
At the same time, individuals who feel aggrieved by this or any other organisation also have the right to state their case and be heard, as do spokespersons and members who wish to mount a defence against accusations.
The Coalition unequivocably supports the thorough investigation of any alleged criminal activity and the right of our citizens to conduct their lives in peace in accord with the law and their personal choices.
My view is that the allegations of illegalilty should be referred to the appropriate authority for investigation, and if appropriate for prosecution. It would be unwise to have a Senate Inquiry before the appropriate authority had the opportunity to deal with the allegations.
Thank you for your concern and taking the trouble to make contact. If I can help in any other way, please let me know.
Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate
Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry,
Science and Research
Liberal Senator for Tasmania