Senate debates

Thursday, 30 March 2006

Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Bill 2006

In Committee

1:00 pm

Photo of Christine MilneChristine Milne (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

I think there is some confusion here about what was attempted earlier in this debate. That is why I think that if there are going to be arrangements made privately they should include all parties involved in debating this bill. I found it extraordinary to come in here and divide on whether schedule 2 should stand as part of the bill and then come back to talk about amendments to schedule 2. Effectively, you are saying we will have two divisions. We will have a division on schedule 2 as it stands, then we will move to amend schedule 2 and then we will have another division on schedule 2 further to those amendments. Clearly, the intention was to have the division before we had the debate. I do not approve of that way of proceeding with a bill of this kind. I do not appreciate the remarks made in the meantime. I was not party to the idea of dividing on a schedule before the amendments to the schedule had been discussed.

I take this opportunity to say that the Greens most certainly do not support the B-party interceptions that are being discussed, for all the reasons that I mentioned a moment ago and that Senator Brown talked about in the second reading debate on this bill. We think they go way too far in overriding privacy matters and fundamental freedoms and, in fact, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. On that basis, I am very happy to move that schedule 2, as amended, not be agreed to. That is my contention. Because of the process, I will be moving for a division as well.

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