Senate debates

Wednesday, 16 June 2021


Transport Security Amendment (Serious Crime) Bill 2020; In Committee

9:52 am

Photo of Linda ReynoldsLinda Reynolds (WA, Liberal Party, Minister for Government Services) Share this | Hansard source

I have no more information to provide than that that I've already given this chamber, and any further details will of course be the subject of the AFP and Victoria Police inquiry. Can I address what Senator Keneally has also alleged, saying that this legislation does nothing to fix the serious problems that we have at our ports? That is simply and utterly not true. Instead of calling for endless reviews, which Labor does all the time, I can confirm that we know there are over 200 individuals with links to serious and organised crime holding ASICs and MSICs, and I believe up to 70 per cent of those actually hold the MSIC. These individuals can currently access secure and sensitive areas of airports and seaports without supervision. We also know that serious and organised criminals use our airports and seaports as transit points to import weapons, illicit drugs and other harmful goods into Australia. Trafficking of these illegal goods puts Australian security and prosperity and the welfare of our communities at great risk.

This bill, contrary to what Senator Keneally has just said, will establish a regulatory framework that ensures that people convicted of serious offences or with known links to serious and organised crime groups will be ineligible to hold an ASIC or MSIC. These amendments will also provide ACIC with the ability to conduct criminal intelligence assessments for use in background checks on both cards. This is important. It is clearly needed, and this government is keen to get this through as soon as possible. No more stalling. No more delay tactics from those opposite. This bill must be passed.


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