Senate debates

Thursday, 28 June 2018


National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2018, Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Bill 2018; In Committee

11:42 am

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

Thanks, Minister. I'll go back and have a listen to what you've said in the period of time that we will be in shortly where we're not debating this legislation. If necessary, I'll come back, but I do appreciate your attempts to respond to my concerns.

I just wanted to go back to the chilling effect that this legislation will have on freedom of political expression in Australia. I'm sure you'd agree that the High Court has found repeatedly that there is an implied freedom of political communication in Australia. Accepting that it's impossible for anybody to predict entirely accurately how the High Court's going to find in any circumstances—which, of course, makes a mockery of the Prime Minister's assertion on the floor of the House in regard to section 44 issues when he said 'and the High Court will so find'—do you agree that it's at least arguable that this legislation is in breach of the Constitution because it unreasonably curtails the implied freedom of political communication in Australia?


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