Senate debates

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Business

Consideration of Legislation

10:00 am

Photo of Simon BirminghamSimon Birmingham (SA, Liberal Party, Minister for Trade) Share this | Hansard source

There's a fundamental question here that sits on the shoulders of the Labor Party as the alternative government of Australia: why would the Labor Party want to share the legal advice to the government of Australia in relation to this matter with foreign fighters and foreign terrorists? In the end, the consequence of publishing such advice would be that it is then in the hands of those foreign fighters and foreign terrorists. We all know that immigration laws in this country are highly litigated. We know they are highly litigated, because activist lawyers such as Julian Burnside, from the Greens, will always take these matters to court. They will always stand on the side of people who want to try to undermine national security laws and our immigration laws. Yet the Labor Party want to put in the hands of those activist lawyers, foreign fighters and terrorists the legal advice upon which the government would then defend the laws of the country. That's an irresponsible act.

We equally see the Labor Party time-wasting on something they say they're happy to support. Indeed, in the House of Representatives, they ultimately passed this legislation completely unamended. Yet they're happy to come into this place and waste time, and potentially undermine the legal defence of this. That is the irresponsibility we see from the Labor Party, and the Labor Party ought—

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