Senate debates

Thursday, 30 March 2006

Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Bill 2006

In Committee

12:10 pm

Photo of Joe LudwigJoe Ludwig (Queensland, Australian Labor Party, Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

These are recommendations that the government could in fact consider now rather than reject out of hand. The Labor Party took a position in respect of what the Senate committee report on the bill came up with, and in a very short time frame. We came up with amendments that would go to improving the protection of privacy while still striking the right balance, as I have said. The minister thinks that we are seeking to tinker with the two regimes; that is not the case. We agree that there should be two regimes. We see the need for national security interests to be separate from law enforcement interests and do not seek to gavel that position. And it is clear, in part, that B-party intercepts for law enforcement agencies do require protections.

The minister indicated that the government opposes these amendments. I think that perhaps cabinet government does, perhaps executive government does, but not many of his backbench agree with that position. I am sure they agree with ours, but they are not here to support that, which is a pity.

I am going to call for a division on these; I think they are important. But the government is not going to agree with our position on B-party warrants, so I want to foreshadow an amendment to delete schedule 2. Obviously, that will not gain support either, but we can deal with that in the same way, if the Clerk could circulate the amendment that would delete schedule 2.

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