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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Page: 15


Senator LEYONHJELM (New South Wales) (11:04): Yes, I accept that it has to be read in its entirety. Nonetheless, I don't think the statement you made in your summing up, that a covert aspect referred only to the element in which the person is seeking to influence political or government process, is accurate. Any part of the covert process would seem to be sufficient as a component of the offence.

I acknowledge that it has to occur in collaboration with a foreign principal, supervised, directed or funded by the foreign principal, and seeking to influence a political or government process or a right or duty and so forth. It then specifically says: 'any part of the conduct … is covert'. That's in addition to those other elements, which I acknowledge. So it would seem to me that, as to your summing up—in which you said that the covert aspect only refers to the communication between the person and the influencing of political or government processes and so forth—it is required. I can't see how that can be accurate.