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     2   Seizure of material under a search warrant—Process for determination by the House —STATEMENT BY SPEAKER

The Speaker made the following statement:  

On 13 September, I made a statement to the House on the seizure of a range of material by the Australian Federal Police following the execution of a search warrant in Parliament House on 24 August 2016. The Member for Blaxland has made a claim that the material that has been seized is protected by parliamentary privilege and in accordance with the AFP Guideline for the Execution of Search Warrants where parliamentary privilege may be involved, the material is being held securely in the office of the Clerk of the House.

As the Member for Blaxland is seeking a ruling from the House in relation to his claim for parliamentary privilege as provided for under the Guideline and this is the first occasion such a ruling has been sought, I advised the House that I would undertake consultations to determine the way in which this matter will be dealt with.

I have now undertaken those consultations with the assistance of the Clerk of the House. I present for the information of Members a paper prepared by the Clerk’s Office on the process to determine claims of privilege in matters such as these. As noted in the paper it is proposed that the House Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests be tasked with considering the claim made by the Member for Blaxland and making a recommendation to the House about its ruling on the claim.

With this in mind, I propose to give precedence to a motion to refer the matter of the determination of the Member for Blaxland’s claim of parliamentary privilege to the Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests for consideration and advice to the House.