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Wednesday, 25 June 2003
Page: 12613

Senator NETTLE (8:50 PM) —When we debated these issues on Wednesday last week I raised the concern the Australian Greens had about the fact that the new sunset clause proposed in this legislation is different from that proposed originally. In the current form of the bill, as it was put in in December of last year, the sunset clause now would not cover the entire act. We mentioned before that there are some reasons for that in terms of the review mechanisms being able to continue beyond the questioning and detention regime. I asked questions on Wednesday of last week concerning this sunset clause, which allows ASIO to have additional powers outside of the questioning and detention regime, additional powers which enable them to carry out personal searches when entering premises which are the subject of a warrant. Clearly, in the way in which we are proceeding now and the way in which the votes are proceeding, it is the view of the opposition and the government that this additional power be afforded to ASIO agents in carrying out searches of premises.

On that issue, the other question that I raised last Wednesday was about the definition of the word `near'. We talk in this particular section 23 of the act that relates to personal searches by ASIO whereby searches can be carried out at or near the subject premises where the warrant is executed. I am wondering whether we could just get for the record a definition from the minister as to how he would define `near' in this instance.