Senate debates

Thursday, 28 June 2018


National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2018; In Committee

5:51 pm

Photo of Lee RhiannonLee Rhiannon (NSW, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

So you're saying that there has been no change at all. I thought there was a change there in terms of how it's interpreted and then who is advantaged in terms of Australia's national security.

The TEMPORARY CHAIR: Minister? Senator Rhiannon?

Seriously, Minister? We're talking about people being jailed for the rest of their natural life. Imprisonment for life is what we're talking about here. You don't answer. Seriously? It's not surprising that people are starting to call it a police state and say it's out of control and there's a degree of authoritarianism. You don't even answer questions about things that have been done in haste. It has a huge penalty on it.

I will try an example. If a journalist were writing about trade agreements with another country and those trade agreements bring us in dispute with the World Trade Organization and if their reporting were seen to be more favourable and benefiting the trading partner, how would it be judged in terms of the dissemination of information and if prejudices came into the way the journalist or academic had undertaken the work? I'm really just asking you to explain how that section of the bill will work.


No comments