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Wednesday, 2 March 2011
Page: 917

Senator LUDLAM (12:02 PM) —Thank you, Minister. I would hate to boil your answer down to a yes or no. It sounded suspiciously like a no. I have the highest respect for the IGIS and it is certainly a very important role. I presume that view is shared by everybody. But I was asking on behalf of the parliament. Again, to pre-empt your comments about tabling detailed national security or sensitive information, that is not the intention at all. Just to summarise, there will not be any greater degree of reporting under the drafting of this bill, whether or not the Greens amendments are supported, about these excursions outside ASIO’s traditional area of interest. To come directly to the point, if the Australian tax office is in receipt of information from ASIO or if the tax office requests some assistance from ASIO in the performance of its functions, are there any public reporting obligations or is there any way of tracing that activity at all? Or is it all internal?