The amendments would have added a number of defences to the bill that relate to freedom of speech, the public interest, artistic expression and the right to protest.
What does this bill do?
This bill was introduced to:
- amend existing, and introduce new, espionage offences relating to a broad range of dealings with information, including solicitation and preparation and planning offences;
- introduce new offences relating to foreign interference with Australia’s political, governmental or democratic processes;
- replace the existing sabotage offence with new sabotage offences relating to conduct causing damage to a broad range of critical infrastructure that could prejudice Australia’s national security;
- introduce a new offence relating to theft of trade secrets on behalf of a foreign government;
- amend existing, and introduce new, offences relating to treason and other threats to national security, such as interference with Australian democratic or political rights by conduct involving the use of force, violence or intimidation; and
- introduce a new aggravated offence where a person provides false or misleading information relating to an application for, or maintenance of, an Australian Government security clearance.
Read more in the bills digest.