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Wednesday, 14 November 2018
Page: 8092


Senator HANSON (Queensland) (12:34): by leave—I move amendments (1) and (2) on sheet 8575 together:

(1) Clause 3, page 2 (after line 11), at the end of the clause, add:

Note: The provisions of the My Health Records (National Application) Rules2017 amended or inserted by this Act, and any other provisions of those rules, may be amended or repealed by rules made under section 109 of the My Health Records Act 2012 (see subsection 13(5) of the Legislation Act 2003).

(2) Schedule 1, page 9 (after line 12), at the end of the Schedule, add:

My Health Records (National Application) Rules 2017

18 Paragraph 6 ( 3 ) (b)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

(b) the period is the period beginning on the day on which this Part commences and ending on 31 January 2019.

These amendments extend the time in which people can actually opt out of My Health Record—to end on 31 January 2019. A lot of people feel that they haven't had enough information with regards to the My Health Record, and the government was going to have the op-out period close tomorrow. These amendments give the public more time to understand My Health Record and what it means to them, which I think is very important. Allowing this extra time, until 31 January, will give the public a better understanding of it. My understanding now is that the computer system to opt out has crashed, so it's not fair on the public unless we give them an extension of time.

I also think it's very important that the people know what My Health Record means to them. There's been a lot of fear about privacy—that people will access their records. My understanding is that a person would have total control of their record at all times. Although One Nation is putting forward an extension of the opt-out period until 31 January next year, people can opt out of the My Health Record system at any time after that. The public are not committed to stay in this; they can opt out at any time. It is not retrospective and cannot capture historical information unless uploaded by an individual or by an individual's own healthcare provider at their request. The individual will also be able to log onto their own record at any time and see who has accessed that record. They can nominate who cannot access it and they can request the destruction of their record at any time. I believe that the penalties associated with this—if anyone does disclose anyone else's health record—include a fine for an individual of $63,000 and up to five years imprisonment or, for a corporation, $315,000. If it is a civil offence, it will be a $315,000 fine for an individual and over $1½ million for a corporation.

My Health Record is going to be very good, and, to put on the record, I'm not going to opt out of it; I'm going to be part of it. It's going to be very good for the Australian people, because a lot of people now travel around. There are the grey nomads travelling around the country, and their records can be accessed by hospitals and doctors if they need to know what their health situation is. In general, it's going to be very good for the public. So I hope that these amendments do get support from this house to allow the extension of time so that the public are better informed about it and can understand what it means to them. I hope my amendments to extend it out to 31 January 2019 are supported by this house.