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Thursday, 11 October 2012
Page: 7974


Senator LUDLAM (Western Australia) (12:17): I move:

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Attorney-General, no later than noon on Monday, 29 October 2012, the following:

(a) a list of dates, invitees and attendees of meetings held between the Attorney-General's Department and ISPs, consumer and content industry groups regarding a national data retention scheme;

(b) briefing notes and advice generated by the Attorney-General's Department in advance of the meetings;

(c) interdepartmental communications - emails and documents pertaining to the meetings; and

(d) minutes and reports of these meetings.

I seek leave to make a short statement.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator LUDLAM: Just so that senators are aware of what the Senate is proposing to block—I understand I do not have government or coalition support for this motion either—this is about a set of documents relating to meetings that the Attorney-General's Department has been having for at least two years with the technology sector, with internet service providers and telephone companies and so on, about a mandatory data retention regime for all Australians. It would subject every Australian citizen, from top to bottom, to a mild but pervasive form of intrusive and real-time blanket surveillance of the entire population.

This motion seeks to have the Attorney-General table some documents on how many meetings have been held, who the attendees have been and departmental briefing notes and the usual accompanying documentation. These meetings are completely opaque. The government has now moved this invasive and I think quite dangerous proposal to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, and the Senate deserves some answers, as does the Australian population. It is a travesty that the coalition are supporting the government in keeping this material out of the public domain. (Time expired)