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Wednesday, 3 April 2019
Page: 14675


Mr HASTIE (Canning) (17:34): On behalf of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, I present the following reports: Advisory report on the Counter-Terrorism (Temporary Exclusion Orders) Bill 2019, incorporating a dissenting report, and Advisory report on the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018.

Reports made parliamentary papers in accordance with standing order 39(e).

Mr HASTIE: by leave—The committee takes its responsibility to review national security legislation very seriously and has a strong track record of recommending amendments that enhance the efficacy of Australia's intelligence and security agencies and provide for the appropriate oversight of their important work.

These two reports build on this significant record.

Report on the Review of the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018

The committee's report on the review of the assistance and access act draws on its 2018 report on the preceding bill and looks forward to the statutory review of the act to commence this week.

The report contains three recommendations including:

•   that the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security and the Commonwealth Ombudsman be sufficiently resourced to properly execute their additional responsibilities under the assistance and access act; and

•   that the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor is properly equipped to review the amendments made by the assistance and access act and to report by 1 March; and

•   that the time frame for the committee's own statutory review be extended to better align with the review being conducted by the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor.

This last recommendation will ensure the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor's findings inform the statutory review and strengthen any subsequent committee recommendations.

Advisory report on the Counter-Terrorism (Temporary Exclusion Orders) Bill 2019

The second report I have tabled today is an advisory report on the bill to establish a temporary exclusion order scheme.

The scheme is intended to provide the government with greater control over the return of Australian foreign fighters—and their families and associates—to Australia.

The committee has supported the bill, subject to certain recommendations to enhance safeguards and accountability measures.

The committee accepts that a temporary exclusion order regime may assist authorities in the current environment, in which a number of Australian citizens who have previously supported terrorist organisations are looking to return to Australia following the collapse of the so-called Islamic State caliphate.

Without denying the right of all Australian citizens to enter their own country, a TEO scheme will enable Australian authorities to manage the risk to the broader community by controlling the timing in which, and the means by which, these citizens return.

For returnees who are not already subject to arrest and prosecution upon their arrival, the scheme will provide authorities with a mechanism to monitor their activities while the level of threat they may pose to the community is assessed.

In addition to supporting passage of the bill, the committee has made 18 recommendations, including:

•   requiring judicial authorisation of temporary exclusion orders, with special provision for urgent situations so that the minister can respond rapidly to exigent operational circumstances,

•   requiring consideration of the person's individual circumstances,

•   enhancing protections for children, and

•   introducing transparency and oversight mechanisms.

Finally, I thank the secretariat for their work over the 45th Parliament. They work in a contested space. This is a committee that handles a lot of legislation that sometimes can be quite controversial. Indeed, there are often opposing viewpoints, but the secretariat's support has been invaluable. I particularly want to acknowledge the work of Dr Anna Dacre, who has for many years been the committee secretary. I've been to the US twice with her and had many phone calls over the last couple of months. Dr Dacre, I appreciate the work you've done and I wish you well, on behalf of the committee, in your next career choice. Thank you.