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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Page: 4389

Senator SESELJA (Australian Capital TerritoryAssistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation) (17:03): We're probably talking about two slightly separate things. In relation to secret and top secret, that goes to one of the elements that would potentially need to be proved to deal with this particular provision in section 91.1, espionage. Obviously we're dealing with the most serious of offences here. There has to be all of the elements. So the person would deal with information or an article. That's just a starting point. Then the information or article would have either a security classification—secret or top secret; that's defined—or concerns about Australia's national security. In addition to that, the person would have to intend that the person's conduct would prejudice Australia's national security or advantage the national security of a foreign country and then, as I said earlier, the conduct results or will result in that information going to a foreign principal or someone acting on their behalf. So the security classification is dealing with high level, secret and top secret. There is the national security element, but it would have to step through and get each of (a), (b), (c) and (d) of that provision in order for someone to potentially have contravened this piece of legislation or this part of the act.