Senate debates

Wednesday, 16 June 2021


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

10:08 am

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

As I've noted several times now, there is only one gaping hole in this chamber, and that is Labor's lack of support for this critically important bill. Labor have filibustered—and both senators this morning have continued their heroic efforts to filibuster on this bill—and have tried to water down the bill by splitting it.

In relation to some of your comments or your assertions, Senator Sheldon, I think it is highly insulting and in fact demeaning to be so rude about the ABF staff and criticise their professionalism. They do an extraordinary job for our nation. In relation to some of your assertions, ABF officers do conduct regular visits to any vessel of interest. They do conduct regular wharf patrols and provide a high-visibility presence. They maintain a periodical or permanent ABF-marked-vehicle presence at the gangways and they also seek continuous CCTV monitoring of vessel gangways by the Customs National Monitoring Centre. In response to all of your assertions about their competence, they do a magnificent job on behalf of our nation and they do take security of our ports seriously.

Again, there's only one side of politics that's seeking to delay this bill or to have this bill not pass the Senate, and that's Labor. As I've said, of 227 ASIC and MSIC cardholders of concern to the ACIC, 73 per cent are in the maritime sector. This is exactly the reason we want this bill passed, so that we can implement these measures and so that law enforcement can make sure that people like that no longer have access to secure areas of our ports. As Labor keeps conflating them, let me be very clear: we're talking about these cards in the secure areas of our ports, not the more general access that we're talking about through the MCVs.


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