Thursday, 13 May 2010
Australian Information Commissioner Bill 2010; Freedom of Information Amendment (Reform) Bill 2010
I indicate that, as Senator Ludlam has anticipated, the opposition does not support the Greens amendments. It has been a well-established principle in this country that matters of national security, and like matters, are well within the appropriate exclusions from the FOI regime and that we have other mechanisms, in particular the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, the Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security and recently, as a result of an initiative of the opposition in fact, the independent review of antiterrorism laws. There is a suite of safeguards which, in the opposition’s view, provide appropriate and searching oversight of the performance of national security agencies and which make it appropriate that they do not fall within the FOI regime.