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Thursday, 28 August 2008
Page: 6607

Mr McCLELLAND (Attorney-General) (10:08 AM) —in reply—I would like to thank members for their contributions to the debate on the Telecommunications Interception Legislation Amendment Bill 2008. Initially, the member for Moncrieff commented that this bill seeks to maintain the status quo under the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act and make minor technical amendments. I can confirm that that is the case and I thank him for his support for the bill. I also note the support of the member for Isaacs for the bill and his very constructive comments in respect of the Victorian Office of Police Integrity.

Essentially the bill is important in maintaining the effectiveness of the legal framework that underpins the lawful interception of telecommunications and surveillance activities. Replicating the existing authorisation powers in stand-alone provisions does not alter or expand any powers for security or law enforcement agencies under the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act. The amendments referring to the Victorian Office of Police Integrity will ensure that the office can continue to exercise its existing interception powers following the establishment of the office as a stand-alone agency under the Victorian Police Integrity Act 2008. The bill also removes redundant references to provisions in relation to communications carriers’ reporting obligations that were repealed following the passage of the Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Act 2006. These technical amendments to the interception regime will improve, clarify and simplify the operation of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act. As such, this bill is a further step in the ongoing modernisation of Australia’s laws for accessing telecommunications information for law enforcement or national security purposes.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Ordered that the bill be reported to the House without amendment.