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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Page: 4281

Senator SESELJA (Australian Capital TerritoryAssistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation) (10:52): No. I'd just make a couple of points. I think we're going around in circles a little bit, but you're talking about people engaging certain defences. When people act unlawfully, as you are describing—that is the basis of the propositions you are putting—of course they potentially attract the law as it stands. But what you seem to be trying to suggest is that the definition of 'national security' in this bill is somehow going to open up people to prosecution that may or may not be intended in the way that you're describing. And I'll just make the point that there is absolutely nothing unusual about the definition of 'national security' in this bill. It is consistent with existing definitions in the National Security Information (Criminal and Civil Proceedings) Act 2004 and with the Australian Law Reform Commission's 2009 report recommending reforms to Australia's secrecy offences. So the very proposition you're putting, that somehow there's a change in definition here, is flawed for the reasons I've set out.