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Thursday, 17 October 2019
Page: 4492

Mr CHESTER (GippslandMinister for Veterans and Defence Personnel and Deputy Leader of the House) (09:59): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (the PJCIS) and the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor (the INSLM) have important functions in oversight of Australia's national security and counterterrorism legislation.

This bill ensures that both the PJCIS and the INSLM have adequate time to complete their reviews of the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018.

In its second review of the assistance and access act, the committee recommended that the deadline for its third review be extended to June 2020. The chair of the committee subsequently requested a further extension to 30 September 2020 to allow the committee to consider any recommendations by the monitor, who has asked the committee for an extension until June 2020 to complete his own review of the legislation. The government supported this recommendation and this request, and this bill implements that change.

The government supported the recommendation due to the importance of ensuring a complete and comprehensive examination of the assistance and access act by both the committee and the monitor, in the interests of protecting the security and the rights of all Australians.

Given the importance of the assistance and access act in ensuring the safety and security of our community, the government accepts the PJCIS and INSLM request for more time to review the act as they have requested.

Extending the review dates will allow the committee sufficient time to consider the findings of the monitor and to undertake comprehensive consultations with industry and the public.

By way of conclusion, I urge the timely passage of this bill. I also acknowledge and appreciate the extensive and continuing work of the PJCIS and INSLM in reviewing this legislation.

I commend the bill to the House.

Debate adjourned.