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Thursday, 25 September 2014
Page: 7261


Senator JACINTA COLLINS (Victoria) (21:24): I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Labor opposition to thank the crossbenchers for their contribution to the committee stage consideration today. However, contrary to Senator Milne's statements, I would like to stress the history that we covered in the discussion in relation to this legislation. These were matters that were first addressed quite some time back when first put forward by the Attorney at the time, Nicola Roxon. These are matters that have been dealt with by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security, amendments that have been drafted in response to that committee and then returned to that committee. These are matters that have been considered by the members of that committee in quite some detail, particularly the media measures that have been referred to.

These are not extreme measures in response to an immediate crisis. The Senate will indeed be dealing with other legislation—in fact, there is legislation now before us with respect to foreign fighters—that is more immediate and pertinent to current circumstances. But to characterise these first tranche measures as extreme and in response to more immediate national security issues is simply inaccurate.

I have indicated on behalf of the Labor Party that some of the issues that have been raised by crossbenchers may indeed warrant further consideration by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security. That is where I have indicated that such matters should be further investigated. This is not us absenting ourselves from scrutiny. Indeed, it was the Labor Party in the committee stage consideration that ensured that we had sufficient time to deal with the response from the Scrutiny of Bills Committee. It was indeed the Labor Party that would have ensured—absent the vote that actually occurred—with the support of some crossbenchers, that the gag motion ultimately succeeded, but not with the support of the Labor Party.

So, Senator Milne, I take offence at your characterisation of the Labor Party's participation in this debate. I was not intending to make a third reading contribution, but I think your comments are inaccurate and unfair.

The PRESIDENT: The question is that the bill be now read a third time.

Bill read a third time.