Senate debates

Wednesday, 26 November 2014


Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014; In Committee

11:06 am

Photo of George BrandisGeorge Brandis (Queensland, Liberal Party, Attorney-General) Share this | Hansard source

Contrary to what Senator Milne has just falsely asserted, every question that was asked of me last night was answered and answered fully. I was asked four questions, Senator Milne; had you bothered to attend the debate rather than make a fleeting appearance you would know this. I was asked three questions by Senator Wright and I was asked one question by Senator Ludlam. I was asked by Senator Wright, in the first place, about the definition of 'supports and facilitates'; I was asked by Senator Wright about the definition of 'class'; I was asked by Senator Wright for an explanation why the dates for the review by the PJCIS and the sunsetting had been chosen; and, I was asked by Senator Ludlam whether the effect of those provisions of the bill which enable ASIS or enhance the capacity of ASIS to work with the Australian defence forces would enable ASIS to participate in acts of violence. Each of those four questions was answered by me in full at the conclusion of the debate on the relevant amendments. Senator Milne, if you had been in the chamber, you would have known that what has just come from your lips is a falsehood.

The explanatory memorandum should have been available yesterday and I regret that it was not, but it is now. So I table a supplementary explanatory memorandum relating to the government amendments and an addendum to the explanatory memorandum.

Now, Madam Acting Temporary Chairman, the question before the chair is that government amendments (7), (15), (16) and (18) on sheet ES111 be agreed to. Let me briefly summarise the effect—

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: Just a moment, Senator Brandis. If you would not mind, resume your seat. I remind the committee that we are dealing with (13), (23), (24), (26), (27) and (29) of schedule 1, that the items stand as printed and that they are government amendments.

Madam Acting Temporary Chairman, I am moving government amendments (7), (15), (16) and (18) on sheet ES111.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: Resume your seat again, Senator Brandis. I understand that that has already happened.

No, it has not.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: Senator Brandis, resume your seat, please. I am informed by the Clerk that those amendments were moved last night.

Madam, that is not correct. I was given leave to move the amendments together when the committee came to 20 past seven last evening and the adjournment was put. I do not know what the Journals of the Senate record, but, in any event, having obtained leave last night, I now move:

(7) Schedule 1, item 13, page 7 (lines 18 to 28), to be opposed.

(15) Schedule 1, items 23 and 24, page 8 (line 23) to page 9 (line 10), to be opposed.

(16) Schedule 1, items 26 and 27, page 9 (lines 20 to 25), to be opposed.

(18) Schedule 1, item 29, page 10 (lines 4 to 14), to be opposed.

These amendments implement recommendations 5 and 6 of the unanimous report of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. Recommendations 5 and 6 were that the bill be amended to ensure that an issuing court retains the authority to examine each individual obligation, prohibition and restriction in a control order and that the AFP be required to explain why each obligation, prohibition and restriction should be imposed.

Amendment (7) amends the bill to revert to the current requirement in the Criminal Code that, when considering the impact of a control order on a person, the issuing court must consider each of the proposed obligations, restrictions and prohibitions. This is designed to ensure that the issuing court individually considers the impact of each proposed obligation, restriction and prohibition on the person separately when deciding whether or not to make a control order.

Amendments (15), (16) and (18) oppose items (23), (24), (26), (27) and (29) of the bill. These amendments will ensure consistency within the control order regime by providing the same requirements with respect to the consideration of each obligation, prohibition and restriction whether seeking the Attorney-General's consent, making a request to an issuing court or making, varying or confirming a control order.

The purpose of the amendments is to provide for consistency in the obligations that must be put before the relevant decision maker at each stage of the process whether it be the Attorney-General, whether it be the court that issues the control order or whether it be a court which is subsequently asked to vary or in some way amend the control order. As I said, these give effect to the unanimous recommendations of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. When we have dealt with these amendments and, in the event that they were to be adopted by the committee, that would mean that all of the recommendations by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security for amendments to this bill would have been adopted and given effect to.


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