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Tuesday, 30 November 2004
Page: 69


Senator ELLISON (Minister for Justice and Customs) (4:58 PM) —This amendment, whilst well intentioned, has the effect that Senator Ludwig has mentioned. It would extend the protected information regime from material gathered under a warrant or authorisation to material gathered using optical surveillance devices without a warrant—for example, if you used binoculars or perhaps even a camera. You would have such a wide application of this amendment that any information gained by that means would be protected.

An example may be that a Federal Police officer who uses binoculars to look for a lost child could possibly commit an offence if he reported on what he saw through his binoculars to the parents of the child. That is taking it to the extreme, but certainly we do not believe that the same regime should apply to those devices for which a warrant is not required, such as a camera just taking a photograph, or a set of binoculars. Where you have a hidden camera or other devices installed there is of course a much stricter regime. For those reasons the government cannot support amendment (30) from the Democrats.

Question negatived.