House debates

Wednesday, 2 June 2021


Department of Defence

4:46 pm

Photo of Rebekha SharkieRebekha Sharkie (Mayo, Centre Alliance) Share this | Hansard source

I want to speak briefly on this motion and say to the parliament and to the Australian people that I support this motion. I think if COVID has taught us anything it is how critical it is that we own what's ours. We need to own our data. We need to own our rail. We need to own our electricity, our water and most importantly our land. I think that the Australian people would be absolutely and utterly gobsmacked if they knew that the government had extended a contract for the Department of Defence for the storage and management of data with Chinese-owned data centre Global Switch. That has been done without due process or public tender. It is extraordinary.

Our data is worth gold. Our data is everything. That is our national security. That is our sovereignty. Over at least the last four decades we have pretty much sold every single thing of value in this nation that we possibly could have to foreigners. We often talk about New Zealand in this place. New Zealand is so much smarter than us. New Zealand has a threshold: if it's not in the national interest, if it's over five hectares, it doesn't pass. Yet here we are happy to sell everything—our precious water, our best land—and we are putting our data at incredible risk. I would urge the government to look at this motion. This is incredibly important. Let's address this. Let's fix this wrong. I commend the member for Clark for this motion.


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