Senate debates

Wednesday, 27 June 2018


National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2017, Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Bill 2017; First Reading

9:55 am

Photo of Nick McKimNick McKim (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

I appreciate the minister tabling a statement of reasons as to why these bills need to be considered in these sittings. What I don't appreciate is the way that it has been dumped now on the Senate in such a way that the Australian Greens are forced into making a contribution on the motion before the chair without actually having had the opportunity to understand or even read the government's reasons for the unholy rush that the Senate finds itself engaged in at the moment.

To show good faith with this chamber, Minister, you should have got up then and made the arguments on your feet so that we could understand them. But, no, here we are, getting stampeded through again, with you showing a distinct lack of courtesy to this Senate. It's not good enough to just whack a bit of paper down on the table and expect the debate to be fully informed. The debate isn't fully informed, Minister, because I haven't had a chance and none of my colleagues in the Greens or on the crossbench have had a chance to actually understand what your arguments are for insisting that these pieces of dangerous draconian legislation are rammed through the Senate this week in such an unholy rush.

I thought this was a debating chamber. I thought this was one of the supreme, if not the supreme, debating chambers in the county, if not the world, of Westminster parliaments. But that's not the way the minister has just treated this chamber now. He has come in and whacked a bit of paper down on the table, and he is expecting this debate to be fully informed. I want to put on the record that we are unable to rebut the minister's arguments because the minister didn't have the courtesy to get up in the five minutes allotted to him in this process and actually make the arguments as part of the debate.


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