Thursday, 28 June 2018
National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2018, Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Bill 2018; In Committee
The first thing I would say is that there is nothing in what you've described which would appear to engage any elements of the offences within this. Simply lobbying someone and that person then taking a position is not what we're talking about here. There are a number of those elements that I have set out and there's nothing covert in that particular lobbying. There is no doubt that governments seek to influence things right around the world. We know that. Australia does that on behalf of our national interest in other countries. We are having legislation that would make certain acts unlawful where it is done in a covert way that is designed to undermine our national interest in one form or another. So simply lobbying on a policy proposal or an issue to a politician would not engage these particular offences.