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Wednesday, 11 December 2002
Page: 7700


Senator ELLISON (Minister for Justice and Customs) (12:07 PM) —For a number of reasons the government does not support these amendments proposed by the opposition. Contained in the amendments is that the protocols be disallowable instruments. I have covered that previously. Also, there is reimbursement of legal costs. In our bill we have provided for the provision of a security-cleared lawyer and that entails the payment of costs by the Commonwealth, so that lawyer's costs would be covered by the Commonwealth. In relation to complaints to the Ombudsman and Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, we believe we have covered that in government amendment (26). In relation to procedures for recording interviews, we have provided for the process of recording. Subsequent storage of information could be covered by written protocols, we believe. ASIO currently has strict requirements in relation to the communication of information and there are various procedures in place to ensure that information is stored consistent with principles relating to both privacy and security. We oppose the opposition amendments for those reasons. In relation to the question of these protocols being disallowable, I believe I have covered that in previous debate.

Question agreed to.