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Australia

Yearbook 2005

According to Digopaul, Australia is the largest country in Oceania. Labor opposition leader Mark Latham resigned in January due to illness. He also left his seat in Parliament. Latham's successor was elected former party leader Kim Beazley, who was also a minister in former Labor governments.

2005 Australia

In May, the government presented the 2005–06 budget, which included unexpectedly large reductions in income tax, equivalent to US $ 22 billion. In addition, investments would be made to create new jobs and reduce social security contributions.

2005 AustraliaThe government announced in June that the country's harsh treatment of asylum seekers would be mitigated. Families with children should no longer be held in detention camps while their applications are being processed. Later, the authorities decided to move almost all asylum seekers from the Nauru detention camp to camps in Australia. However, according to Prime Minister John Howard, the criticized camp in Nauru would not be closed. In September, the federal government, opposition leader Beazley and state leaders agreed on stricter anti-terrorism laws. According to the bill, the police could keep suspected terrorists in custody without prosecution for up to 14 days. The police would also be given increased powers to body-visit and electronically monitor the suspects. A special police unit would check the country's eleven major airports, where it would be illegal to leave luggage unattended. According to the Prime Minister, a strategy would also be developed to respond to the threat posed by chemical and biological weapons as well as nuclear weapons. For immigrants, it would take three years instead of two to become Australian citizens. Under the new laws, it would be criminal to stir up violence against society and to express support for the country's enemies. The laws would be reviewed after five years, and after ten years, they would again be approved by Parliament. Howard agreed to these requirements, which were the condition of the state leaders to support the bill. The six states and two territories are all governed by the Labor Party. For immigrants, it would take three years instead of two to become Australian citizens. Under the new laws, it would be criminal to stir up violence against society and to express support for the country's enemies. The laws would be reviewed after five years, and after ten years, they would again be approved by Parliament. Howard agreed to these requirements, which were the condition of the state leaders to support the bill. The six states and two territories are all governed by the Labor Party. For immigrants, it would take three years instead of two to become Australian citizens. Under the new laws, it would be criminal to stir up violence against society and to express support for the country's enemies. The laws would be reviewed after five years, and after ten years, they would again be approved by Parliament. Howard agreed to these requirements, which were the condition of the state leaders to support the bill. The six states and two territories are all governed by the Labor Party.

On November 2, the government presented the bill to Parliament. On the same day, Parliament approved urgent amendments to existing anti-terrorism legislation. The following day, the Senate was specially convened and approved the amendments, which included means that a person can be convicted of having planned an attack even if the time and place of the act has not been determined.

The background to the legislative changes and the proposal for new laws were concerns about terrorist attacks similar to those in London in July 2005. Australia has been spared from direct attacks, but many Australians have been killed in terrorist acts in Indonesia. Muslim leaders criticized the new bill and feared it would lead to increased intolerance against Muslims. In early November, Howard said the government had been informed of a planned terrorist attack on Australia. The opposition accused him of engaging in frightening propaganda to divert attention from the controversial amendments to the labor market laws that the government wanted to enforce (see below).

On November 8, police said at the last moment it had averted "a large-scale terrorist attack" and arrested 17 men in Sydney and Melbourne. In connection with the arrests, police found detonators, timepieces and chemicals of the same type used in London in the summer of 2005. According to police, the target of the planned attack may have been Australia's only nuclear reactor, just south of Sydney. The reactor is used for the production of radioactive material for pharmaceuticals. Among the arrested were a Muslim leader, Abu Bakr, who had previously expressed support for al-Qaeda leader Usama bin Ladin. One of the men was injured after he was shot by police when gunfire occurred in connection with the arrest. Eight of the men were accused of planning a terror attack. The injured man was also charged with attempted murder for shooting at the police.

Most of the men were of Arab origin, but all were said to be Australian citizens. A few days after the arrests, the prime minister said he was considering new laws to ban sentenced terrorists, with dual citizenship, from their Australian citizenship. The Minister of Justice would investigate the matter.

On November 15, over 200,000 employees in Melbourne and in a number of other locations in the country demonstrated against the new labor market laws that the government wanted to introduce. The new laws would entail individual contracts between employers and employees instead of collective agreements. The reforms would also make it easier for companies to dismiss employees. The government argued that increased flexibility in the labor market would create more jobs, while unions said that wages would be lowered and job security threatened.

Race riots broke out in Sydney December 11-12. The riots began in Cronulla Beach when thousands of white youth attacked people of Arab appearance. The reason was said that young people of Arab origin abused two lifeguards. The riots spread to other suburbs. At least 30 people were injured and 16 were arrested by police.

2005 was the hottest year in Australia since measurements began in 1910, the country's meteorological institute stated. The average temperature during the record year was 22.89 degrees.

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