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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Page: 4410

Senator McKIM (Tasmania) (18:39): The Australian Greens will be supporting the amendments put forward by Senator Patrick on behalf of Centre Alliance. We believe that reform of the JSCIS is long overdue. Senator Patrick has gone through a little bit of the history of various reports and attempts to reform that committee. I want to place it very clearly on the record that the Australian Greens have a very clear view that that committee should not be a closed shop between the old parties in this place—the parties that self-describe as the parties of government. There is no rational reason why only members of parties that have some kind of reasonable likelihood of forming government should be able to sit on the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and Security, and, likewise, there is no rational reason why the crossbench should not have a representative on that committee.

As Senator Patrick has pointed out, the Five Eyes nations have a range of ways in which they scrutinise and provide oversight to their intelligence services and their intelligence communities, and it seems to me and seems to the Australian Greens that our country, Australia, is lagging behind most, if not all, of the other Five Eyes nations in providing capacity for their parliaments—where ultimate responsibility lies—to adequately oversight intelligence operations, intelligence agencies and the intelligence community.