Wednesday, 16 June 2021
Transport Security Amendment (Serious Crime) Bill 2020; In Committee
It is imperative that this government put measures in place to prevent serious and organised crime, for the safety and security of all Australians. This bill was developed in response to a number of independent reviews that recognised the critical vulnerability created by serious and organised criminals exploiting the ASIC and MSIC schemes for criminal purposes. The government does acknowledge that flag-of-convenience ships can also pose a risk to the maritime environment that can be exploited by these very same organised crime groups. The government regularly reviews the aviation and maritime environments to address all vulnerabilities and to strengthen aviation and maritime security.
In relation to Senator Keneally's comments about the government, can I point out some of the facts about Senator Keneally's amendments and her attempt, on behalf of Labor, to water down this bill very significantly. Senator Keneally's amendment links the commencement of this bill to her own private member's bill, the Migration Amendment (New Maritime Crew Visas) Bill 2020, which proposes amendments to the maritime crew visa. The new MCV bill provides that the transport security amendment bill would only commence on the passage of her own bill.
The vast majority of MCV holders do not require unescorted access to maritime security zones—again, I remind those opposite that these are two different issues that you are valiantly trying to conflate—and requiring visa holders to comply with elements of the MSIC scheme could pose a significant financial burden on the administration of the MCV scheme for absolutely no discernible benefit. It would cause a completely unacceptable level of uncertainty and further delay for industry for the government to link both the MCV and the MSIC as well as the commencement of the bills. This is just another delaying tactic by those opposite. I would just say, please just pass the bill, stop filibustering and stop playing games, so that we can get on and deal with the ASIC and MSIC cards and get serious and organised criminals out of our secure areas in our ports, airports and seaports.