AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL PARLIAMENT ALERT RE SECURITY

Tuesday 29 July 2014

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Extended submission deadline for inquiry into the National Security Legislation
Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014

The closing date for submissions to the Parliamentary inquiry into the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 has been extended to Wednesday, 6 August 2014.

The closing date was extended by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security in order to give interested parties more time to make a contribution to the inquiry.

The Bill implements many of the bipartisan recommendations made by the Committee in Chapter 4 of its 2013 Report of the Inquiry into Potential Reforms of Australia’s National Security Legislation. Chapter 4 included 22 recommendations on reforms to legislation governing the Australian Intelligence Community, including the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 and Intelligence Services Act 2001.

The Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill states it will enhance the capability of intelligence agencies by:

  • Modernising ASIO’s statutory employment framework,
  • Modernising and streamlining ASIO’s warrant-based intelligence collection powers,
  • Strengthening ASIO’s capability to conduct covert intelligence operations, with appropriate safeguards and oversight,
  • Clarifying and improving the statutory framework for ASIO’s co-operative and information-sharing activities,
  • Enhancing the capabilities of IS Act agencies,
  • Improving protection of intelligence-related information, and
  • Renaming of Defence agencies to better reflect their roles.

Public hearings on the Bill will be held during August. The Committee intends to report by 8 September 2014 in order that the House may consider the Bill in the Spring sittings.

Further information about the inquiry, including how to make a submission, can be accessed via the Committee’s website at http://www.aph.gov.au/nslab. A submission received from the Attorney-General’s Department is now available at this website. The Bill and Explanatory Memorandum can be accessed via http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation.

Henry Sapiecha

 

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