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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Page: 4384

Senator McKIM (Tasmania) (16:38): Thanks, Minister. For the purposes of the question I'm about to ask, can we assume that the tests under 82.6(1)(a) and (b) have been met—that is, the person has been engaged in conduct that is a blockade and the conduct has resulted in damage to public infrastructure? Firstly, damage includes limiting access to, as I think you've just outlined. Secondly, public infrastructure can include private infrastructure, as long as it provides or relates to providing the public with utilities or services, including the transport of people or goods of any kind; it is located in Australia; and it belongs to or is operated by a constitutional corporation.

We assume that those criteria are met and then we go to 82.6(1)(c). This is a blockade which is done for the purpose of raising the political issue of animal cruelty, but which has a corollary impact of impacting on Australia's economic relationship with another country—by virtue of the fact that it, for example, delays or halts indefinitely the departure of that vessel.

So my question, Minister, is whether that blockade, in the hypothetical situation that I've outlined, could result in the commission of an offence under this legislation because that blockade, firstly, prejudices national security because of the way 'national security' is defined to include economic relationships between Australia and another country. I just don't see how that action could not be caught under 82.6(1).