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Thursday, 12 December 2002
Page: 7842


Senator FAULKNER (Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (10:30 AM) —I move opposition amendment (30) on sheet 2764:

(30) Schedule 1, item 24, page 18 (after line 23), at the end of section 34G, add:

(10) A person who is or has been before a prescribed authority for questioning under warrant may not disclose any information about the questioning or the production of records or things unless authorised to do so in writing by the prescribed authority.

Penalty: Imprisonment for 5 years.

(11) A legal practitioner who is accompanying or has accompanied a person appearing before a prescribed authority for questioning under warrant may not disclose any information about the questioning or the production of records or things unless authorised to do so in writing by the prescribed authority.

Penalty: Imprisonment for 5 years.

(12) Subsections (10) and (11) do not apply to contact between the person and the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security or the Ombudsman under:

(a) sections 10 and 13 of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1986; or

(b) section 22 of the Complaints (Australian Federal Police) Act 1981;

as the case may be.

This amendment provides for enforceable secrecy provisions governing disclosure of attendance at interviews. Given the nature and the possible context of the information being dealt with, it is appropriate that the prescribed authority be the judge of what can be said and to whom it can be said. As such, it ought to be an offence to breach any such order made by the prescribed authority in relation to these provisions. They apply to both the person who is the subject of the warrant and their legal adviser. I commend the amendment to the chamber.