Thursday, 17 July 2014
Consideration of Legislation
That further consideration of the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 be postponed and made an order of the day for the later of:
(a) 8 September 2014; or
(b) the next day of sitting after the Government complies with Recommendation 41 of the report of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, Report of the inquiry into potential reforms of Australia's National Security Legislation, at least, by seeking the views of the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor and the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security on the bill, and tabling a copy of those views in the Senate.
Any extension of the powers of our intelligence agencies needs to have appropriate scrutiny by politicians, the Australian community and key stakeholders such as the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security. For this reason, Labor welcomes the fact that the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 has now been referred to Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security and that there will now be an inappropriate period for the public and key stakeholders to also comment on the significant changes being proposed. With respect to the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, I welcome Senator Brandis's announcement yesterday that the government is backing down on its plan to abolish that office. Labor fought against the abolition of this important role. While we do not support Senator Ludlam's motion today, if an appropriately credentialed and experienced monitor can be appointed expeditiously by the government, Labor would certainly welcome the new monitor's views on the bill that is proposed.