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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Page: 4332

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (13:38): Minister, I want to explore the issue of intention, particularly with regard to bringing international attention to, say, any breach of law by the Australian government. I'm trying to understand if that would qualify as an intent to prejudice Australia's national security. To provide you with some examples of what I'm thinking of, I think that many of the senators and many of the parliamentarians in this place come across a range of people engaging in various activities where they have concerns. They try to develop and understand what their concerns are. I'm thinking here of the Great Barrier Reef. It's very much of global interest, and therefore people in other countries and in overseas organisations are engaging—global organisations, organisations in other countries and governments of other nations.

That's one example. Another big one that's ongoing and that we've seen in the past is around the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Again, it becomes a global network of organisations from different countries that are then bringing their concerns to a range of countries just wanting to highlight, by using the global stage and using media and social media, that the Australian government could end up breaching the law if it engaged in certain practices, or refused to engage in certain practices, when it comes to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Would there be intent there to prejudice Australia's national security? I do feel that we need to understand thoroughly what it means, and how it will play out. If you could elaborate on that, I think it would be very helpful.