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Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Page: 6056


Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandDeputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (11:45): Senator Ludlam, as you rightly and generously point out, I represent the one party in this chamber that cares about the rights of the individual.

I am a little constrained in being able to respond directly to you, because I am a member of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. That committee, as you know, is currently seized of a reference into this and related matters. The consideration of that reference is about to begin, and I do not want to anticipate what that inquiry will disclose. But may I point out that, as the minister has also observed, this scheme does operate on a threshold. The government's amendments do take into account the principal recommendations of the inquiry of the Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety, on which I know you served. The opposition is not persuaded that the legislation in its ultimate form—that is, with the government's amendments—is defective in the way that you identify.

But you do raise a fair point, Senator Ludlam, and it is, no doubt, a point that will be considered in the forum of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security inquiry.