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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Page: 4335


Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (13:47): An example of where the government can run into big problems when they don't really spell out what the details are has been shown with the Tasmanian antiprotest laws. They were recently shown to be unconstitutional. My colleague Senator Nick McKim, who has carriage of this for the Greens, can obviously, coming from Tasmania, go into a lot more detail. But I certainly followed it closely because (1) I have interest in it, and (2) it was quite extraordinary. I remember that at the time, when it was being brought forward by the government, the government was absolute about it—absolute that this would work and was needed; the laws were effective and ready to go into action. What happened? They were found to be unconstitutional. That's why I'm pursuing this, Minister. This is the time when we have an opportunity to really get into how it all works. In that case, when it was found to be unconstitutional, it was found that it would breach the right of free speech. So let's go back to that one again. What advice have you received that you're not going to go down the same path as the Tasmanian government by bringing forward a law and saying, 'We've got the other major parties onboard. Labor are solidly with us here. This legislation is urgently needed to deal with any issues of national security and possible sabotage'—all the things that you're saying to argue the case that it's as solid as a rock. What advice have you received that it's not unconstitutional and it would stand up to any challenges?