Thursday, 3 September 2020
Australian Citizenship Amendment (Citizenship Cessation) Bill 2020; Second Reading
I thank those senators who have contributed to the debate on the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Citizenship Cessation) Bill 2019. The bill continues the Morrison government's efforts to address the threat of terrorism and delivers on our commitment to keep the Australian community safe. As we have heard during the debate, the bill's central reform is the replacement of the current 'operation of law' provision for citizenship cessation with a ministerial decision-making arrangement. Importantly, the bill provides that the minister cannot cease a person's citizenship if it would result in the person not being a citizen or a national of any country.
The provisions of the bill will apply to persons who engage in specified terrorism related conduct, who fight for or are in the service of a specified terrorist organisation overseas, or who have been convicted of specified terrorism related offences and sentenced to a period or periods of imprisonment totalling at least three years.
I would like to thank the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security for its work on this bill through its inquiry and for its recommendations. The committee's advisory report on the bill made three substantive recommendations, each of which the government has accepted. The Australian Citizenship Amendment (Citizenship Cessation) Bill 2019 again continues the Morrison government's work to protect Australians and our way of life and to keep our community safe.
Australia is a united and cohesive country, and that is something that we pride ourselves on. In recognising and protecting this unity and cohesion, it is essential that we continue to monitor, update and amend the way in which we deal with those who would threaten it. Behaviour that harms, or seeks to harm, our community, whether that be in Australia or offshore, is in clear opposition to the common bond and shared values that underpin membership of the Australian community.
The bill deserves the support of all in this parliament. I commend the bill to the Senate.