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Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 751


Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (16:06): by leave—I move amendments (7) and (12), as circulated, together:

(7) Schedule 1, page 4 (after line 17), after item 4, insert:

4A After section 126

   Insert:

126A Review of decisions relating to security checking under the regulations

(1) This section applies if regulations are made, under any of the following sections, dealing with the security checking (including background checking) of persons who have access to an area or zone:

   (a) section 35;

   (b) section 36;

(c) section 36A;

   (d) section 37;

(e) section 38;

   (f) section 38A;

(g) section 38AB.

(2) The regulations must include provisions allowing a person in relation to whom a security check is carried out to seek:

   (a) reconsideration by the Secretary or the Secretary AGD of a decision in relation to a security identification card; and

   (b) review by the Secretary or the Secretary AGD of a decision in relation to a security identification card; and

(c) review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of a decision by the Secretary or the Secretary AGD on review of a decision in relation to a security identification card.

(3) To avoid doubt, nothing in this section permits:

   (a) the Secretary or the Secretary AGD to review an adverse security assessment or a qualified security assessment; or

   (b) the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to review an adverse security assessment or a qualified security assessment other than in accordance with the provisions of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975.

(4) In this section:

   adverse security assessment and qualified security assessment have the same meanings as in the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979.

   Secretary AGD means the Secretary who is responsible for administering the scheme prescribed for the purposes of section 8 of the AusCheck Act 2007 (the AusCheck scheme).

(12) Schedule 1, page 6 (after line 19), after item 12, insert:

12A After section 201

   Insert:

201A Review of decisions relating to security checking under the regulations

(1) This section applies if regulations are made, under any of the following sections, dealing with the security checking (including background checking) of persons who have access to a zone:

   (a) section 105;

   (b) section 109;

(c) section 113;

   (d) section 113D;

(e) section 113F.

(2) The regulations must include provisions allowing a person in relation to whom a security check is carried out to seek:

   (a) reconsideration by the Secretary or the Secretary AGD of a decision in relation to a security identification card; and

   (b) review by the Secretary or the Secretary AGD of a decision in relation to a security identification card; and

(c) review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of a decision by the Secretary or the Secretary AGD on review of a decision in relation to a security identification card.

(3) To avoid doubt, nothing in this section permits:

   (a) the Secretary or the Secretary AGD to review an adverse security assessment or a qualified security assessment; or

   (b) the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to review an adverse security assessment or a qualified security assessment other than in accordance with the provisions of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975.

(4) In this section:

   adverse security assessment and qualified security assessment have the same meanings as in the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979.

   Secretary AGD means the Secretary who is responsible for administering the scheme prescribed for the purposes of section 8 of the AusCheck Act 2007 ( the AusCheck scheme).

The opposition has moved these amendments in two blocks to try and minimise the disruption to the activity of the House. We believe that, just like our last set of amendments, this set of amendments is very reasonable indeed. It goes to the review of decisions made in security checking. This second group of amendments will put in place the legislative basis for existing review mechanisms. There are, of course, existing review mechanisms available, but, as part of the change package that is before the parliament, the government is proposing to harmonise what are currently different appeal systems for the ASIC and the MSIC. Holders of the ASIC, the aviation security identification card, will have a clearer system of review rights which is equivalent to the existing system which applies for holders of the MSIC, the maritime security identification card. The amendments will retain the new uniformity between the maritime and aviation systems.

About a quarter of a million Australians have an ASIC or an MSIC. For many, the access to those cards is literally a precondition of their employment and their livelihood, to enable them to look after their families. The amendments that I have moved, one of which applies for aviation and one for maritime, will simply require that regulations made after this bill passes into law contain a review mechanism that either already exists or is proposed by the government as part of the harmonisation. Inserting in the respective maritime and aviation security acts a requirement for regulations to include a review mechanism provides an extra level of assurance that the system will include reviews where an adverse finding is made.

When you are doing legislation like this, extending the scope of scrutiny pertaining to the issue of maritime and aviation security identification cards, it is reasonable that, at the same time, there be assurance given. Many of the quarter of a million Australians who have an ASIC or an MSIC will be concerned that somehow they will inadvertently get caught up, in what I believe is in contravention of the government's aim here—and the opposition shares that aim—in having appropriate security arrangements around our airports and seaports.

I believe that the amendments we are advancing here are worthy of support. I think the government should consider them. This is an example of the government having the opportunity to seize parliamentary process to make the legislation that it proposes better. Common sense suggests that, where people, in a spirit of goodwill, come up with suggestions that will improve legislation, governments should not be stubborn and just say, 'That's coming from the opposition; therefore that's a bad idea.' This is a good idea. This is about providing certainty. This is about building on the government's good idea of harmonising the processes for the appeal system for ASIC and MSIC that it says it has. That is a good idea. So let us make it better by carrying these amendments, which the opposition commends to the House.