Senate debates

Thursday, 30 March 2006

Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Bill 2006

In Committee

11:20 am

Photo of Chris EllisonChris Ellison (WA, Liberal Party, Minister for Justice and Customs) Share this | Hansard source

We are dealing here with the destruction of records and the keeping of records. In one case it is very good to keep the records and in the other case it is very good to destroy them. We believe that the bill has sufficient protection in relation to individual privacy and other aspects which are of concern. Clause 151 requires a chief officer of an enforcement agency to destroy stored communications information forthwith when such information is no longer needed for an investigation or prosecution. That, of course, deals with irrelevant material, and we have debated that earlier. Clause 152 further requires a chief officer of an enforcement agency to report to the Attorney-General on an annual basis the particulars relating to the destruction of stored communications information held by the enforcement agency. We believe that is appropriate.

On the other side of the coin, we believe that the keeping of warrants and the like is very important. Clause 151 provides that each enforcement agency must keep records of each stored communications warrant issued, each instrument of revocation, each evidentiary certificate and particulars of the destruction of information accessed under a stored communications warrant. The Ombudsman will have oversight of law enforcement agencies’ use of stored communications warrants. And as the Attorney has said—and I have said it repeatedly—we will continue to consider the recommendations of the committee which were not adopted in this bill. The government is opposed to opposition amendments (7) and (8) for the reasons that I have mentioned.

Question negatived.

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