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Monday, 18 June 2018
Page: 21


Senator LEYONHJELM (New South Wales) (12:20): I didn't speak during the second reading debate on the Criminal Code Amendment (Impersonating a Commonwealth Body) Bill 2017, because the speakers' list collapsed, so I now want to address the bill.

I oppose the Criminal Code Amendment (Impersonating a Commonwealth Body) Bill 2017. This bill is a piecemeal response to Labor's 'Mediscare' campaign at the last election. It introduces an offence punishable by up to two years imprisonment for recklessly impersonating a Commonwealth body, whether real or fictional, and it introduces an offence punishable by up to five years imprisonment for doing so intentionally. I oppose this bill because fraud is already illegal, so this law will be redundant. We should be getting rid of redundant law rather than adding to it.

I also oppose this bill because the law should not provide greater protection against fraud for government bodies compared with everyone else. The earlier the government gets into its head that it is here to serve the people rather than itself, the better. In fact, that goes for all of us in this place. But it is especially important for those who send bills to this place. As I said, I oppose this bill.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Bernardi ): The question is that the bill be read a third time.