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Wednesday, 1 December 2004
Page: 9

Senator ELLISON (Minister for Justice and Customs) (10:03 AM) —In relation to Senator Brown's question on what is there in the lifestyle of lawyers that could be a threat, I still hold a practising certificate and I do not think I will go there. I still have some degree of connection with the legal profession, if you like—I might have to end up there one day earning a living. Seriously, it has nothing to do with the lifestyle of lawyers.

Senator Brown —That's what you said.

Senator ELLISON —No, it is about the person's background and it applies across the board. The vetting service conducted in excess of 2,000 security clearances in the last year that was reported in the annual report. The criteria that apply are in the PSM and they apply across the board. There is nothing which attaches to a particular profession. Whether you are a doctor or a lawyer, a plumber or an electrician, the principles remain the same and the PSM applies across the board. I reject totally that the aspect of being a lawyer in some way puts you at a disadvantage or an advantage. It is looked at totally objectively.