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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Page: 4392

Senator SESELJA (Australian Capital TerritoryAssistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation) (17:16): I think there's still just a little bit of confusion with the definitions, which you've rightly pointed to, that help with interpreting the offence provisions. The offence provisions have a number of elements. Let's take sabotage. You've rightly pointed out that national security is defined, but there has to be conduct, and with sabotage, the conduct is specific. It's specifically conduct that results in damage to public infrastructure, which is defined, again, separately, and then there's an intent or recklessness about it. It also prejudices Australia's national security and, indeed, in some cases, depending on the offence, it might be conduct engaged in on behalf of or collaborating with a foreign principal. We've covered this in some detail. Those offences each have to have all of their elements made out. The definitions you're pointing to don't constitute anything in terms of an office. All you've pointed to there is that there is a foreign principal and there is some sort of collaboration or activity with that foreign principal, but there's no offence that I can see. Certainly you have to look at each of the offences, and they're the ones that carry the penalties. The offences have to have a number of those elements made out and there's nothing you've described to me that would attract any of those offences that I can see, but if you've got more specificity I'm happy to try and answer those questions.