Thursday, 10 December 2020
Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Amendment Bill 2020; Second Reading
I rise to speak on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Amendment Bill 2020 and say at the outset that Labor supports the fundamental aims and objectives of this bill. We welcome the repeal of the questioning and detention warrant. It is a repeal that Labor has long advocated. It is a repeal that has been supported by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. It is a repeal that has been supported by the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor. This is a reform that is long overdue. Labor supports and welcomes it and we appreciate that the government, in a long overdue response to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, has brought this repeal forward.
I note that the questioning and detention warrant, which was a power that was brought in in the wake of the September 11 attacks by this parliament and supported at the time by the Australian Labor Party, is a power that has never been used. It is an extraordinary and intrusive power designed to assist our national security agencies to prevent a terrorist attack and it has never been used. Therefore it is appropriate that we repeal this power and Labor supports that objective. Labor also supports the objective of expanding the questioning warrant to cover acts of politically motivated violence, including terrorism, foreign interference and espionage.