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Wednesday, 30 March 2022
Page: 1263

Mr CRAIG KELLY (Hughes) (18:19): I rise to speak on the Data Availability and Transparency Bill 2020. I cannot support this bill. The balance between the risk to privacy and the potential benefits is just not there. If we go through the explanatory memorandum of the bill, it notes:

… The Bill establishes a new data sharing scheme which will serve as a pathway and regulatory framework for sharing public sector data.

'Public sector data' means your data, Madam Deputy Speaker, and my data and the data of every other one of the 25-million-plus Australians. It goes on:

'Sharing' involves providing controlled access to data, as distinct from open release to the public.

What that means is that your data, which you as an individual may wish to keep private, can be given to others. As the minister noted, in his second reading speech:

This bill is about creating a scheme that will provide controlled access to data to trusted people and organisations.

Who are these trusted people who can be trusted with Australians' private data? Who are these trusted organisations who can be trusted with Australians' private data? In my mind, the risks of this clearly outweigh the potential benefits. We have seen what has happened over the last two years, where it is now the custom in this country to have to show your medical records to line up, to hire a car or to enter a restaurant. That has become common practice in this country. Medical records that should be your private information are no longer private in this country. We are going down a dark, authoritarian track towards a society of digital identity, and I cannot stand and support this legislation.

When I came to this place for the very first time, I signed up to the principles that the Liberal Party believes in. The very first sentence was:

We believe:

In the inalienable rights and freedoms of all peoples; and we—

that is, the Liberal Party—

work towards a lean government that minimises interference in our daily lives.

Allowing trusted people and so-called trusted organisations to access the private data of Australian citizens is not what I signed up for when I first came to this parliament, and I cannot support this bill.