Thursday, 6 December 2018
Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018; Second Reading
Thank you. The legislation before the chamber tonight is one of the most dangerous and one of the least-thought-through pieces of legislation ever to come before the Australian parliament. Within its pages are listed the mechanisms by which the privacy of every Australian citizen may be violated, the security of our nation placed at risk and billions of dollars worth of industry banished overseas.
This legislation is nothing more or less than the dark fantasy of a particular public servant—a man who has been working his way to the top of Australian government for decades, a man of a dangerous right-wing disposition who has successfully created a department in his image and who now stands on the cusp of achieving a lifelong goal of empowering the Australian government with the ability to keep the general populace, who he regards as nothing more or less than helpless sheep, safe and sound. I am talking, of course, of Michael Pezzullo, the head of the Department of Home Affairs, who has, for almost 10 years now, waited for a government stupid enough to pass this legislation and an opposition weak enough to let them do it. Now, in 2018, he has found his men in Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten.