Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 28 June 2018
Page: 4333


Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (13:41): I think there's still looseness in the language there though, and that does need to be explored—in particular, when you're talking about national security and proof of intention to jeopardise national security. There is a big cloud over 'national security', and I raised that earlier with regard to what the dean of the UNSW Law School, George Williams, has raised.

So you're ruling out the international human rights example, but what about with regard to climate issues? Climate issues take into account the coal industry. Your government could interpret that coal is an essential service and so any criticism or protest or blockade could be seen as proof that it's intended to jeopardise national security. I'm sure you understand the examples that I'm referring to. I do think we need to dig into it a bit deeper considering there is a dispute about 'national security'.

Even accepting your definition, let's look at the climate example. Where people engage in activities of climate action—whether it's knitting nannas who sit outside the gates of a coalmine or people who actually go into the coalmine area to erect a banner—are they in breach? Considering it's the coal industry, and the coal industry means a lot to the government, you may classify it as an essential service; therefore, if anything is deemed to jeopardise it, could those people then be prosecuted? I'd like to go into the issue of what the nature of the prosecution would be, but, firstly, is that a scenario that could be captured by how your bill is structured?