Senate debates

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Questions without Notice


2:52 pm

Photo of Murray WattMurray Watt (Queensland, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) Share this | Hansard source

Thank you, Senator Paterson. I recognise that Senator Paterson is someone here who does take issues of cybersecurity and national security seriously, but I can't help noticing that he and all of his colleagues have taken a lot more interest in these issues since they entered opposition than they ever did when they were in power and had the opportunity to do so. I also observe that poor old Senator Rennick up the back there never seems to get a question. Maybe one day he'll get the opportunity to ask questions as well.

The fact is that since our government, the Albanese government, has been in power we have absolutely lifted the game of the Australian government when it comes to cybersecurity, moving beyond the derelict system that was left behind by the former government. The Albanese government is committed to ensuring all Australians are aware of the challenges of protecting themselves online.

As I say, all the people who now have all the questions in world had ample opportunity to do something about this issue themselves as members of a nearly 10-year-old government that ended only a few months ago. It wasn't that long ago that Senator Paterson was asking me questions about the cameras that are in departmental buildings—again, something that the former government not only could have done something about but maybe could have stopped happening in the first place. I welcome this newfound interest in these issues from members of the opposition, including Senator Paterson, and I would welcome the support of the opposition for the reforms that this government is putting in place—


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