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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Page: 4285

Senator SESELJA (Australian Capital TerritoryAssistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation) (11:10): Again, Senator, I understand the challenge, but it does take a stepping through of all the elements of the offence. So, starting with (1)(a), the person commits the offence if the person engages in conduct. Then, if any of those circumstances exist—that is, acting in collaboration with or on behalf of the foreign principal and, then, intending that conduct to influence the various processes set out in (c)—that conduct, going back to (a), is covert or involves deception. Simply communicating via an encrypted messaging service such as WhatsApp does not engage the covertness element when it comes to engaging in conduct and the other elements that make up the offence.