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Thursday, 3 December 2015
Page: 9926


Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandAttorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (20:53): The question is whether the minister is aware of certain facts. If he is aware of certain facts, he is ex hypothesise satisfied as to the existence of those facts. One can imagine plenty of circumstances, I dare say, in which the minister could become aware of those facts otherwise than on the basis of a brief from his department. He may be directly advised of them by a police agency, for instance. They may be, and we discussed this possibility last night, publicly manifest facts, so that there is no doubt at all from the public manifestations of certain conduct that what is involved is terrorist related conduct or conduct to which the act applies.

So it is not a jurisdictional precondition that there be departmental advice. The minister must merely be aware of the existence of certain facts or satisfied as to the existence of certain facts. The sources of that awareness, on the basis of which he is satisfied that they exist, could be other than departmental advice. But, in the most usual case, you would expect that it would be on the advice of a departmental brief.