Bipartisan support on landmark Foreign Interference Bill

Today’s consensus report of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security on the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2017 is an important achievement.

THE HON. MARK DREYFUS QC MP

SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

SHADOW MINISTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY

MEMBER FOR ISAACS

 

BIPARTISAN REPORT ON LANDMARK FOREIGN INTERFERENCE BILL

 

Today’s consensus report of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security on the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2017 is an important achievement.

 

As a result of constructive negotiations between the two major parties, the PJCIS report makes 60 recommendations for improvements to the original bill.

 

These amendments make this bill more effective and ensure that it achieves its intention – to target and disrupt covert attempts to undermine our democratic system.

 

At the same time, the amendments provide important protections for journalists, non-government organisations and charities.

 

The amendments also introduce new legislative safeguards which are appropriate when criminal laws are being extended.

 

Labor urges the Government to accept all of the recommendations contained in the report, which were the result of bipartisan negotiations.

 

There is nothing more important than getting the details of national security legislation right. The PJCIS process plays a vital role in applying scrutiny to all such legislation, and today’s report shows the value of that bipartisan work.

 

Labor will always work in a constructive and bipartisan manner with the Government when it comes to keeping Australians safe, and giving our agencies the tools they need to achieve that outcome.

 

We also work to achieve an important balance between the security of Australian citizens, privacy, personal liberty and political freedom.

 

THURSDAY, 7 JUNE 2018