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Thursday, 25 September 2014
Page: 7261

Senator MILNE (TasmaniaLeader of the Australian Greens) (21:23): The former Clerk of the Senate, Harry Evans, once said that it is the role of the legislature to question the executive, particularly in times of crisis. What we have seen is the development of an atmosphere of crisis such as would warrant extreme measures that in other circumstances would never be countenanced. That is exactly what has happened here with this legislation. It is a case of doing in haste what we will repent at leisure.

The fact of the matter is that we are doing away with freedoms of the press that have been fought for over a long period of time and have now been given away. The Greens have severe criticisms of this legislation. It has been rushed through this parliament without any scrutiny from the Labor opposition. The reason why is their case to answer; but we have put a very strong case here, and I congratulate my colleague Senator Ludlam for the way that he has handled this. But in years to come people will look back and ask why we never learnt the lessons of history and we repeated them.