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Wednesday, 4 December 2019
Page: 5001

Senator WATT (Queensland) (12:15): Labor will be supporting this amendment. As set out in the committee's report, a number of stakeholders expressed concern that the bill would allow the AFP minister or an agency to withhold exculpatory material from a terrorist offender in an application for a continuing detention order. This could happen in circumstances where the agency or minister believes that the exculpatory material would be the subject of a claim for public interest immunity. The committee sought to respond to some but not all of those concerns by recommending that the bill:

… be amended so that, in respect of any application for a continuing detention order, the onus is on the Australian Federal Police Minister to satisfy the Court that any exculpatory information that is excluded from an application is protected by public interest immunity.

This amendment implements that recommendation, and Labor supports it.

Question agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Bill reported with amendments; report adopted.