Thursday, 30 March 2006
Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Bill 2006
Certainly, the Democrats recognise in particular amendment (18), which makes the provisions regarding the Ombudsman more relevant as the register for warrants will be transferred. Rather than going on about that, I might specifically ask about the government’s response to the recommendation in the Senate committee chair’s report dealing with the extension of the reporting period for the Ombudsman from three to six months. I mentioned that in relevant amendments earlier, but I am wondering if the government can put forward a formal or any kind of response to the committee’s recommendation that that period be increased from three to six months. On the issue of resources, I am wondering if there are any plans by the government to increase the resources available to the Ombudsman so that he can continue to cope with an ever-expanding workload—and, indeed, the requirement now that his reporting period be three months, despite the attempts of the Labor amendments, I believe, to extend that period to six months.