Thursday, 28 June 2018
National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2018; In Committee
In terms of national security, and looking at section 90.4 at (1)(e), it says:
The national security of Australia or a foreign country means any of the following:
… … …
(e) the country’s political, military or economic relations with another country or other countries.
I could foresee a scenario in which you're working with the organisation that's working with the foreign country and that then does impact on the relationship between that country and Australia—for example, in terms of the political relationship. The foreign country may, in fact, decide they're not going to engage with Australia in military exercises, for example, or it could affect the economic relationship—they may decide that in order to achieve the objective. That's what I'm looking at. There may be an intent to do that. To achieve the objective, the campaign could be that they want to influence that. They want to get Australia to be paying attention, and the way they do that is by making Australia feel the pain. Or it may be, in fact, reckless. I'm not saying they would be reckless doing that, but the government could see it as reckless to do that, because what's articulated under (e) happens.