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Wednesday, 2 March 2011
Page: 918

Senator JACINTA COLLINS (Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations) (12:10 PM) —Senator Ludlam, while the officers go back into the origins for me, let me go back to your earlier comments in relation to the national interest not being defined. I have to differ with you in your interpretation of my earlier remarks. I would not accept that it is not defined. Rather that definition or interpretation may be fluid under the circumstances I previously outlined.

The amendments are not responses to any specific recommendations but address general issues raised in various reviews. The Smith review, the National Security Statement and the Counter-terrorism white paper all highlighted the importance of increased interoperability and intelligence sharing among the national security community. The capabilities of intelligence, security and law enforcement agencies need to remain under constant review so that we can address the challenges of the contemporary environment. Part of this ongoing review is considering whether these agencies and the legislation under which they operate continue to be appropriate for the modern national security context. These amendments have been identified as necessary to support the government’s broader national security policy framework.