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representatives vote 2019-07-23#3

Edited by mackay

on 2019-07-26 14:09:03

Title

  • Bills — Counter-Terrorism (Temporary Exclusion Orders) (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2019; Consideration in Detail
  • Counter-Terrorism (Temporary Exclusion Orders) (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2019 - Consideration in Detail - Implement recommendation

Description

  • <p class="speaker">Mark Dreyfus</p>
  • <p>by leave&#8212;I move:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(1) Schedule 1, page 3 (after line 9), after item 1, insert:</p>
  • The majority voted against [amendments](https://www.openaustralia.org.au/debates/?id=2019-07-23.116.1) introduced by MP for Isaacs [Mark Dreyfus](https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/representatives/isaacs/mark_dreyfus) (Labor), which means they failed. These amendments would have implemented recommendations made by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security. MP Dreyfus [explained the recommendation](https://www.openaustralia.org.au/debates/?id=2019-07-23.116.1).
  • ### Amendment texts
  • > *(1) Schedule 1, page 3 (after line 9), after item 1, insert:*
  • >
  • > *1A At the end of Part 4*
  • >
  • > *Add:*
  • >
  • > *30A Certain reports and briefings*
  • >
  • > *(1) If:*
  • >
  • >> *(a) a report by the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor referred to in subsection 29(1) or 30(1) relates to a review of the Counter-Terrorism (Temporary Exclusion Orders) Act 2019, or a report relating to that Act is otherwise prepared in the course of the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor carrying out the functions in subsection 6(1); and*
  • >>
  • >> *(b) the Committee on Intelligence and Security requests, in writing given to the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, a copy of the report;*
  • >
  • > *the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor must give the Committee a copy of the report, or a copy of extracts from the report that deal with that Act.*
  • >
  • > *(2) If the Committee on Intelligence and Security requests a briefing in relation to the report or extracts, the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor must give the Committee such a briefing.*
  • ### What do the bills do?
  • According to the [bills digest](https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1920a/20bd006):
  • > *The [Counter-Terrorism (Temporary Exclusion Orders) Bill 2019](https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id:legislation/billhome/r6361) (the TEO Bill) will introduce two new orders, each of which could be made by the Minister for Home Affairs:*
  • >
  • > * *a temporary exclusion order (TEO), which may prevent an Australian citizen aged 14 years or older who is overseas from returning to Australia for up to two years at a time and*
  • > * *a return permit, under which the Minister may impose conditions on the person’s entry into Australia, including conditions with which the person must comply for up to 12 months after re-entering the country.*
  • >
  • > *The orders are intended to enable authorities to plan for and manage the return of Australians of counter-terrorism interest (such as individuals who have fought with or otherwise supported a terrorist organisation overseas) and mitigate risks to the community posed by such individuals. Similar orders exist under United Kingdom law and have been made at least nine times since they were introduced in 2015.*
  • <p class="italic">1A At the end of Part 4</p>
  • <p class="italic">Add:</p>
  • <p class="italic">30A Certain reports and briefings</p>
  • <p class="italic">(1) If:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(a) a report by the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor referred to in subsection 29(1) or 30(1) relates to a review of the <i>Counter-Terrorism (Temporary Exclusion Orders) Act 2019</i>, or a report relating to that Act is otherwise prepared in the course of the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor carrying out the functions in subsection 6(1); and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(b) the Committee on Intelligence and Security requests, in writing given to the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, a copy of the report;</p>
  • <p class="italic">the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor must give the Committee a copy of the report, or a copy of extracts from the report that deal with that Act.</p>
  • <p class="italic">(2) If the Committee on Intelligence and Security requests a briefing in relation to the report or extracts, the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor must give the Committee such a briefing.</p>
  • <p>As with the other recommendations made by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security, recommendation 6 of the committee was a unanimous recommendation made by all six of the Liberal members of the committee and the five Labor members of the committee. Recommendation 16 is to the Counter-Terrorism (Temporary Exclusion Orders) (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2019 rather than to the substantive bill, because it relates to a particular aspect of the interaction between the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor and the new powers that have been conferred by this legislation. What recommendation 16 of the committee was directed at was enabling the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor to provide a copy of the reports made by the monitor at the same time as the reports are provided to the Prime Minister.</p>
  • <p>The committee also recommended that the monitor should be empowered to brief the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security on his or her findings. Honourable members will bear in mind that this very national security legislation monitor is the agency that this government was committed to abolishing when it came to office in 2013. It was only after a number of the crossbenchers in the Senate were persuaded of the worth of the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, an agency created by the previous Labor government, that the then Abbott government was prevented from abolishing in Independent National Security Legislation Monitor.</p>
  • <p>We've seen over the course of successive years, since this government tried to abolish in Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, the worth of the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor. It's a very useful reviewing mechanism. It's a very useful safeguard. It's a very useful level of scrutiny that's provided. All three of the national security legislation monitors to date have been very senior barristers, the first being Bret Walker SC; the second being Roger Giles QC, a former judge of the Court of Appeal in New South Wales; and the third eminent barrister, occupying the position as we speak, being James Renwick SC.</p>
  • <p>This recommendation went directly to the oversight of the use of these new temporary exclusion orders, or the new powers, that would be created by this legislation. The oversight of these new powers would be via the parliament through the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. The government has not accepted this recommendation. That's an extraordinary non-acceptance. Again, as with a whole range of the recommendations that were made by the committee in respect of the substantive bill, the government&#8212;neither through the Prime Minister nor through this Minister for Home Affairs&#8212;has not sought to explain the failure of the government to accept the unanimous recommendations of the committee, which is chaired by the member for Canning, a Liberal member of parliament, and on which there is a majority of Liberal members&#8212;six out of 11.</p>
  • <p>It is particularly surprising in the case of recommendation 16 that the government has chosen not to accept it. Recommendation 16 is consistent with recommendation 23, paragraph 2 of the 2017 <i>Independent intelligence review</i>, which was conducted by Michael L'Estrange and Stephen Merchant. That's a regular review. They take place roughly five or seven years apart. The 2017 <i>Independent intelligence review</i>was, as I said, conducted by very senior former public servants, Michael L'Estrange and Stephen Merchant. It recommended that the role of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security&#8212; <i>(Time expired)</i></p>
  • <p class="speaker">Steve Georganas</p>
  • <p>The question is that the amendments be agreed to.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Mark Dreyfus</p>
  • <p>I will just go to what the 2017 <i>Independent intelligence review</i> recommended. They recommended that:</p>
  • <p class="italic">The role of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) be expanded&#8212;</p>
  • <p>Which was so that the committee could:</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#8230; request a briefing from the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor &#8230; to ask the Monitor to provide the PJCIS with a report on matters referred by the PJCIS, and for the Monitor to provide the PJCIS with the outcome of the Monitor's inquiries into existing legislation at the same time as the Monitor provides such reports to the responsible Minister &#8230;</p>
  • <p>This government doesn't like safeguards; this government doesn't like scrutiny; it doesn't like any independent bodies being involved in reviewing any of its actions. And that's presumably why the government is not acting on this recommendation either, as it didn't act on the other recommendations of the intelligence committee to which I've already referred.</p>
  • <p>But what is really surprising is that, when the 2017 Independent Intelligence Review was released to the public, the then Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, as he stood next to the minister who is now the Minister for Home Affairs, said that the government had accepted the recommendations of the review. Now, two years on, in rejecting another part of the recommendations, the government says it's still considering the recommendations of the 2017 Independent Intelligence Review. So what's changed? Maybe what's changed is that Prime Minister Turnbull got the sack in a coup led by the present Minister for Home Affairs. Maybe that's the reason why the same government, having said that it accepted the recommendations of the national intelligence review, is now saying it doesn't, because it's still considering it. Maybe that's what changed. I would suggest to this parliament that, almost two years after the public release of the independent national intelligence review, in 2017, it's time for the Minister for Home Affairs to stop pretending to consider things and start doing his job. Yesterday we saw the extraordinary delay that the minister engaged in to release, some two years late, the statistics on the metadata scheme. Let's hope that we don't have to wait another two years for the already completed stats for the next year of the metadata scheme.</p>
  • <p>But what we have here is an amendment that would fully implement the very sensible, very modest and unanimously agreed 16th recommendation of the Intelligence and Security Committee, namely: an amendment which would, in accordance with the recommendation of the intelligence committee, allow the intelligence committee to do the job that the parliament set it up to do, to do the job that the Independent Intelligence Review said that it should do and said should be expanded, in the form of it being able to engage with new powers when new powers are conferred on the government or the government's agencies&#8212;that there be adequate scrutiny of new powers when they're created, that there be adequate scrutiny by the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, and that the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security should be able to interact with that other scrutiny process. It's a scrutiny process that has already proved its worth. It's a scrutiny process that we've seen since the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor was created in 2010. It's in the form of annual reports by the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor and in the form of briefings provided by the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor&#8212;all three of them&#8212;to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. It's a process that has improved the visibility of the use of powers. It has improved public confidence in the use of those powers&#8212;many of them extreme powers that have been given to agencies. Public confidence is a very, very important aspect of any national security regime. This government doesn't appear to care at all about building public confidence. Building public confidence in the work done by our agencies to keep us safe and building public confidence in the way extreme powers are often used, and often in secret, is a very important part of any national security system in what should be an open and participatory democracy such as our own.</p>
  • <p>To have this government reject a perfectly simple recommendation, unanimously made by Liberal and Labor members of the committee, without explanation is absolutely symptomatic of the inadequate and incompetent approach this government has taken to the presentation of this bill to the parliament. Not content with waiting some 3&#189; years past the time at which the United Kingdom parliament had provided a model of this kind of power in the form of their temporary exclusion orders legislation, not content with announcing late last year, in late 2018&#8212;presumably the Minister for Home Affairs was too busy knocking off the sitting Prime Minister&#8212;not content with waiting until then to even announce that the government was going to do something, the government had us wait until February of this year for it to introduce the previous form of the bill. At that time the government said it was a matter that the intelligence committee should consider urgently. The intelligence committee did consider it urgently. It reported to the parliament shortly before the election was called and in its report made some 19 recommendations, which the government, regrettably, is now self-evidently&#8212;because of the position taken by this Minister for Home Affairs in coming into the parliament&#8212;thumbing its nose at. That's the only way in which it can be put.</p>
  • <p>The government has failed to explain why it is not giving effect to some 10 or 11 recommendations of the committee. The government is not even showing the respect this parliament deserves, let alone the respect the Australian community deserves. When we've had a process, when the process has been conducted urgently by the intelligence committee, when there are sensible, practical recommendations that you've only got to read to see how sensible and practical they are and when you've got recommendations that will improve the working of the legislation, that will make Australians safer, that will build public confidence in the operation of these new powers, it's incredibly disappointing to see the attitude that has been adopted by the Prime Minister and by this Minister for Home Affairs, who seem to think&#8212;on this occasion as, regrettably, on so many other occasions&#8212;that national security is their plaything, that national security is something they can use to score cheap political points, that national security is something they can bring to this parliament to, in their words, 'set up a test for Labor'.</p>
  • <p>Well, enough of that. Enough of this setting up a test for Labor. We call on the government to legislate and to use the processes of this parliament for the national interest of this country. We call on this government to actually consider the national interest and to stop its pathetic political rhetoric of 'this legislation sets a test for Labor'. Before you get to say that, you've actually got to explain what the bill's for. Before you get to say that, you've actually got to explain why you're choosing to ignore the unanimous recommendations of a bipartisan committee. Before you get to say that, you have to actually explain why the legislation is needed. This incompetent Minister for Home Affairs has done none of those things.</p>
  • <p>I urge the government to agree to this amendment to the consequential amendments bill that is now before the House. It's your last opportunity to do the right thing. Again, it's disappointing that the chair of the committee, the member for Canning, hasn't seen fit to back in the recommendations that he agreed to in April and that the member for Berowra or the member for La Trobe haven't seen fit to come into this place and back in the recommendations they agreed to. It's another opportunity the government should take to agree to this amendment.</p>
  • <p class='motion-notice motion-notice-truncated'>Long debate text truncated.</p>