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Monday, 29 November 2004
Page: 85

Senator ELLISON (Minister for Justice and Customs) (5:48 PM) —Firstly, in relation to the implementation of the bill, as I have said, it will contain amendments of 12 months duration, so it is a temporary measure. I understand that it would be implemented as soon as the legislation is proclaimed. Unless I am missing some aspect of what Senator Brown is saying, there is nothing, as I understand it, that will delay the implementation. Senator Brown mentioned implementation, so immediate implementation—

Senator Brown —I was talking about the measures. Will they come into play?

Senator ELLISON —The measures that Senator Brown has mentioned or the effect of the amendments would come into play as soon as the legislation is proclaimed. Under the provisions relating to a letter conveyed by Australia Post, I believe that a search warrant would be needed for the interception of such a letter. In relation to stored communication you would need a similar warrant, as I understand it. Your question related to the provisions as they apply to search warrants required for a letter that is posted and conveyed by Australia Post and to stored communication. Both instances would require a search warrant. There was a third question. Senator Brown had another point, which escapes me.

Senator Brown —It was about serious crime.

Senator ELLISON —As I understand it the bill does not limit the application of the interception by virtue of the offence described. It simply says `by lawful authority', so it is not limited to only serious crime.