House debates

Wednesday, 9 December 2020


Data Availability and Transparency (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2020; Second Reading

10:59 am

Photo of Stuart RobertStuart Robert (Fadden, Liberal Party, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

Today, I am introducing the Data Availability and Transparency (Consequential Amendments) Bill. This bill operates in conjunction with the Data Availability and Transparency Bill (the principal bill) and amends relevant Commonwealth legislation to ensure the principal bill operates as intended.

The principal bill establishes a data sharing scheme to facilitate and regulate sharing of Commonwealth government data. The principal bill authorises Commonwealth bodies to share (provide controlled access to) government data with accredited users for specific purposes in the public interest, with safeguards in place to mitigate risk. The principal bill also creates a National Data Commissioner to regulate the scheme and support best practice, including accrediting users and data service providers.

This bill makes consequential amendments to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 and the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) 1977 to support the operation of the principal bill and to control for security risks. These amendments allow ASIO to provide advice in relation to accreditation decisions under the principal bill, and to limit the notice and review processes for foreign entities in relation to security assessments. Foreign entities may still seek judicial review under the Judiciary Act 1903 and the Constitution. Review rights of Australian entities are unaffected by this bill.

To facilitate regulatory cooperation, the National Data Commissioner may transfer matters or complaints to other entities, including the Australian Information Commissioner. Accordingly, this bill amends section 50 of the Privacy Act to allow the Australia Information Commissioner to transfer complaints and related information to the National Data Commissioner where appropriate.

This bill also amends section 7 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 to preserve protections for data shared under the principal bill. The principal bill creates a controlled scheme for sharing, where data unsuitable for open release may be safely accessed by appropriate persons for purposes in the public interest. Allowing open access to this data under the FOI Act could undermine the scheme's protections and uptake.

I commend the bill to the House.

Debate adjourned.