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Thursday, 16 May 2013
Page: 2764

Senator JOHNSTON (Western Australia) (13:22): The opposition supports this legislation, which has as its purpose the amendment of the Intelligence Services Act to extend the application of the Public Service Act governing the voluntary interagency movement of APS employees to the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, thus entitling such employees to move between agencies, to avoid the restrictions and to have more flexibility—flexibility that does not exist if they are subject to the Public Service Regulations 1999. The amendment means that agreements made between APS employees and agency heads will no longer be subject to those regulations, which are quite restrictive, but instead be subject to the Public Service Commissioner's Directions made under the Public Service Act.

Having said all of that, this is an important adjunct to the highly professional, highly skilled and very difficult work that these members of the Australian Public Service do in this particular agency. They are very hardworking people, and I am very pleased that they will have their terms and conditions of employment enhanced by these amendments.