Senate debates

Tuesday, 27 November 2018


Defence Amendment (Call Out of the Australian Defence Force) Bill 2018; Third Reading

1:03 pm

Photo of Linda ReynoldsLinda Reynolds (WA, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister for Home Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That this bill be now read a third time.

1:04 pm

Photo of Nick McKimNick McKim (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

I won't hold the chamber up for long. I just want to warn the Australian people that something sinister and dangerous is about to occur in this parliament. This parliament, because of the policy lockstep of the LNP and the ALP, is about to pass legislation that makes it much more likely that the Army will be deployed onto Australian streets, with authority to use lethal force against Australian citizens in circumstances that are completely inadequately defined in this legislation. We are sleepwalking in this country down a dangerous path towards authoritarianism, and this bill will add to the over 200 pieces of legislation that have passed through state, territory and Commonwealth parliaments in the last 20 years that remove or erode the country's fundamental rights, freedoms and liberties that we used to send Australian Defence Force personnel overseas to fight wars to protect and defend.

Armies are not primarily trained for policing situations. They are trained to fight wars. It is police forces that are trained primarily to maintain order and to keep the peace domestically in our country. This legislation further blurs the lines between police forces and the Australian Defence Force. It is extremely dangerous for our country that this legislation is about to pass. The Australian Greens oppose it in the strongest possible terms.

Photo of John WilliamsJohn Williams (NSW, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The question is that the bill be read a third time.