Thursday, 26 March 2015
Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2015; In Committee
Labor will be opposing this amendment because we feel, given what has occurred in recent times, that it is now redundant. Proposed section 186B(1) already provides that the Ombudsman must inspect the records of relevant agencies, and the Ombudsman's office is indeed a highly experienced oversight body. We have, however, demanded and received an assurance from the government that the Ombudsman will be effectively resourced to exercise his new responsibilities. As such—given, as Senator Brandis highlighted, the consultation that occurred with the Ombudsman himself—we have no doubt that he will be an effective and diligent watchdog over the data retention scheme.