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Tuesday, 4 June 2013
Page: 5254


Mr KEENAN (Stirling) (19:28): Mercifully, this is my last question in this process, I believe.

Mr Dreyfus: You said it!

Mr KEENAN: Well, the Attorney-General has hardly been scintillating in his five-minute answers. I am not sure who he thinks is actually listening to him.

An honourable member: Generally speaking, the people of Australia.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms K Livermore ): Excuse me. The member for Stirling will proceed with his question.

Mr KEENAN: Thank you—with your protection, Madam Deputy Speaker! My question is to the Minister for Home Affairs, and it relates to his answer earlier on to the first question that I asked him. I would just like to clarify what he told the House—if he would not mind just nodding to see whether this is the case. Then I can go on to a further series of questions. But I just want to clarify that he was talking about May 2013 when he talked about when he had been briefed about the Egyptian terrorist—

Mr Clare: I don't think my response goes in the Hansard here, because Hansard does not recognise noddings. I was indeed making it clear that it was May 2013.

Mr KEENAN: I thank the minister for that. I find that very surprising considering that this was made public in the media in the middle of April this year—I think on 16 April this year. Does he believe that it is acceptable to have been briefed at such a late stage by the Australian Federal Police on such a significant national security issue, considering that clearly the agency had very grave concerns about this individual—otherwise they would not have been pursuing his identity as they have apparently done prior to formally identifying him through their own processes in the middle of November—particularly at a stage when the domestic security agency has also apparently been running a very similar process?

Given the information that he has given the House, I would be interested to know whether he thinks that is acceptable and whether he would normally expect to have been briefed on such a matter well prior to that.