Thursday, 26 March 2015
Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2015; In Committee
Labor noted its concerns about section 35P and its effect on freedom of the press when this was last agitated. We asked the government to refer the matter to the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor and, despite initial objection, the government agreed to do this. The monitor will be holding hearings and reporting back to the government on this matter in the coming months. It would be inappropriate to pre-empt that process with amendments tacked onto an unrelated bill. As a result, Labor will not be supporting this amendment. I note that Senator Xenophon has also sought to amend other disclosure provisions in Commonwealth law and, again, it is not appropriate for these matters to be agitated in this bill.