Wednesday, 26 November 2014
Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014; In Committee
I resent the very inference that I have somehow stopped the explanatory memorandum being tabled. The minister was not even in the chamber when the debate was brought on, as you are very well aware; that is why we had the quorum called in order to get the minister from wherever he was. It happened yesterday as well.
We take this legislation extremely seriously. The minister treated the committee with absolute contempt last night, refusing to explain those terms. He kept referring to his explanatory memorandum, which we do not have. I expect it will be distributed now so that the minister will answer the questions, because this applies to Australian citizens. People will want to know whether they are going to suddenly be caught up in a 'class of persons' definition that enables them to be spied upon, or information to be shared about them. People need to know what the basis for the definition of a class of persons is. Last month the minister said a class of persons was not going to be based on ethnicity or religion or ideology or political viewpoint. Let us see how the government intends to define a class of persons for the purposes of this legislation.