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senate vote 2019-12-05#6

Edited by mackay

on 2020-01-17 09:34:26

Title

  • Committees Selection of Bills Committee; Report
  • Committees - Selection of Bills Committee - Agree with report

Description

  • <p class="speaker">Rex Patrick</p>
  • <p>I seek leave to make a short statement.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Scott Ryan</p>
  • The majority voted in favour of a [motion](https://www.openaustralia.org.au/senate/?id=2019-12-05.67.2) to agree that the Selection of Bills Committee report, as amended.
  • ### The report
  • > *The report read as follows—*
  • >
  • > *SELECTION OF BILLS COMMITTEE*
  • >
  • > *REPORT NO. 10 OF 2019*
  • >
  • > *1. The committee met in private session on Wednesday, 4 December 2019 at 7.25pm.*
  • >
  • > *2. The committee recommends that—*
  • >
  • >> *(a) the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Combatting Corporate Crime) Bill 2019 be referred immediately to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 19 February 2020 (see appendix 2 for a statement of reasons for referral);*
  • >>
  • >> *(b) the provisions of the Export Control Bill 2019, the Export Control (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2019, the Export Charges (Imposition—General) Amendment Bill 2019, the Export Charges (Imposition—Excise) Amendment Bill 2019 and the Export Charges (Imposition—Customs) Amendment Bill 2019 be referred immediately to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee but was unable to reach agreement on a reporting date (see appendix 3 for a statement of reasons for referral);*
  • >>
  • >> *(c) the provisions of the Family Law Amendment (Western Australia De Facto Superannuation Splitting and Bankruptcy) Bill 2019 be referred immediately to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 13 March 2020 (see appendix 4 for a statement of reasons for referral);*
  • >>
  • >> *(d) contingent upon introduction in the House of Representatives, the provisions of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2019 and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2019 be referred immediately to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee but was unable to reach agreement on a reporting date (see appendix 5 for a statement of reasons for referral);*
  • >>
  • >> *(e) the National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Small Amount Credit Contract and Consumer Lease Reforms) Bill 2019 (No. 2) be referred immediately to the Economics Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 6 April 2020 (see appendix 6 for a statement of reasons for referral);*
  • >>
  • >> *(f) the National Integrity (Parliamentary Standards) Bill 2019 be referred immediately to the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 16 April 2020 (see appendix 7 for a statement of reasons for referral);*
  • >>
  • >> *(g) the provisions of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (Cross-boundary Greenhouse Gas Titles and Other Measures) Bill 2019 and the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Regulatory Levies) Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2019 be referred immediately to the Economics Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 7 February 2020 (see appendix 8 for a statement of reasons for referral);*
  • >>
  • >> *(h) the Saving Australian Dairy Bill 2019 be referred immediately to the Economics Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 20 March 2020 (see appendix 9 for a statement of reasons for referral);*
  • >>
  • >> *(i) the provisions of the Student Identifiers Amendment (Enhanced Student Permissions) Bill 2019 be referred immediately to the Education and Employment Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 19 February 2020 (see appendix 10 for a statement of reasons for referral); and*
  • >>
  • >> *(j) the Transport Security Amendment (Testing and Training) Bill 2019 be referred immediately to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee but was unable to reach agreement on a reporting date (see appendix 11 for a statement of reasons for referral).*
  • >
  • > *3. The committee recommends that the following bills not be referred to committees:*
  • >
  • >> *Treasury Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) Bill 2019*
  • >>
  • >> *Business Names Registration (Fees) Amendment (Registries Modernisation) Bill 2019*
  • >>
  • >> *Corporations (Fees) Amendment (Registries Modernisation) Bill 2019*
  • >>
  • >> *National Consumer Credit Protection (Fees) Amendment (Registries Modernisation) Bill 2019*
  • >
  • > *4. The committee deferred consideration of the following bills to its next meeting:*
  • >
  • > *5. The committee considered the following bill but was unable to reach agreement:*
  • >
  • > *(Dean Smith)*
  • >
  • > *Chair*
  • >
  • > *5 December 2019*
  • <p>You can speak to the motion before the chair. The question is now that the amended report be adopted. You can speak to that for up to five minutes.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Rex Patrick</p>
  • <p>I just want to make sure the chamber understands what we're doing in relation to the Selection of Bills Committee this morning, and that is that we are allowing for a bill which has entered the parliament only this week and entered the Senate only in the last few hours. It is a bill that allows for coercive powers to be used on people&#8212;on Australian citizens. At the moment the police services can instigate a special investigation where these coercive powers may be necessary. However, what one of the bills before the chamber is allowing to happen is for those coercive powers to be introduced 'when it's in the public interest', which is such a subjective test that it pretty much means we're going to give carte blanche coercive powers to our police forces. These coercive powers allow for phones to be tapped without warrants. They allow for people to be questioned and it does not give them a right to not incriminate themselves. So they are coercive, and they extend not just to the suspect; they can also affect journalists. A journalist can be called before the commission and compelled to give answers if they happen to know information. I understood the Labor Party was not going to allow this sort of legislation to pass through the Senate.</p>
  • <p>This piece of legislation also allows for retrospectivity, and there are constitutional questions that need to be raised in respect of this. It's never a good idea to have retrospectivity in relation to legislation, particularly around criminal trials. In actual fact, the reason the government wants this legislation rushed through is that we had our police services conducting operations that were not lawful. What it's really doing is trying to retrospectively fix that up. That's a really bad precedent. Parliaments are supposed to deal with general laws that cover general circumstances, and courts are supposed to deal with specific cases and specific circumstances. We are going to be asked later today to vote on a piece of legislation that is targeted at one particular case that is before the High Court at this present moment, and that is not what we are supposed to do.</p>
  • <p>Once again, there are other issues associated with the retrospective nature of this legislation, and we should be referring it to a committee. If this report gets adopted, the referrals, as they are, will be a tragedy in terms of the way in which this parliament has conducted this legislation. We are introducing a bill today, we are not allowing it to go to committee and it will be voted on this afternoon, and that is very, very disappointing.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Nick McKim</p>
  • <p>On the same issue that Senator Patrick was referring to, senators need to be abundantly clear on this. This piece of legislation will add to the more than 200 pieces of legislation passed in the last 20 years in Australia that have eroded fundamental rights and freedoms in this country. I mean, you can have your phone tapped without a warrant. You can have security agencies inside your mobile phone without a warrant right now&#8212;right now&#8212;deleting data, adding data or manipulating data in your phone. In this country right now people can be imprisoned for something they might do in the future.</p>
  • <p>The presumption of innocence is out the window in Australia. We are living in an authoritarian regime, where people like witness K and Bernard Collaery can be secretly charged, where witness J can not only be charged but also secretly convicted and secretly imprisoned in this country and no-one gets to find out about it. Take the blindfolds off your eyes, major parties!</p>
  • <p>The only bit of Senator Patrick's contribution that I would mildly disagree with is the implication that the Labor Party might at some stage be expected to stand up against this erosion of rights and freedoms, this descent into authoritarianism in Australia, because the Labor Party have manifestly failed to do that for so long. The LNP are supposed to stand for individual freedoms, but you take them away, hand over fist, every single chance you get. The Labor Party are supposed to be in opposition to you and they don't oppose you on this stuff. Once again it will be Centre Alliance and the Australian Greens standing up to defend fundamental rights, freedoms and liberties.</p>
  • <p>The idea that you would pass a bill&#8212;which is going to happen, mark my words&#8212;later today that would involve such extraordinary coercive powers, that would seek to retrospectively make lawful a clearly unlawful operation of one of our security services, a bill that continues to erode fundamental rights and freedoms without even allowing it to be referred to a committee for an inquiry is, quite frankly, disgraceful. And when the history of this country's descent into authoritarianism, into totalitarianism and, if we're not careful, into fascism is written every single major party politician in this place who's rolling over today will be the villains, and you will be held to account by history, mark my words.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Scott Ryan</p>
  • <p>Senator Gallagher, did you wish to move an amendment?</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Katy Gallagher</p>
  • <p>Thank you. I move:</p>
  • <p class="italic">At the end of the motion, add:</p>
  • <p class="italic">", but in respect of the provisions of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2019 and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2019, the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee report by 20 November 2020".</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Anne Ruston</p>
  • <p>The government does not support a reporting date of November 2020. This reform has already been the subject of a Senate committee inquiry that reported in February 2019. The structural failings of the current split family law system are well known and further delays to implementing meaningful change will only harm Australian families.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Scott Ryan</p>
  • <p>The question is that the amendment moved by Senator Gallagher be agreed to.</p>
  • <p>Question agreed to.</p>
  • <p>The question is that the Selection of Bills Committee report, as amended, be agreed to.</p>