The Labor Opposition has confirmed that it will move to delay debate, and therefore passage, of the Data Retention legislation introduced into Parliament today to ensure the Bill can be subjected to “proper scrutiny”.
In a bid to stop the Coalition ramming its proposed Data Retention amendment Bill through the House Of Representatives, the Labor Opposition has moved to delay debate until 2015.
Via a statement this evening Labor’s Shadow Communications Minister, Jason Clare MP, said that the legislation is complex and needs the right attention. Here’s his full statement:
Labor has requested that the Government defer debate on the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill until 2015 to give adequate time for a thorough consultation process to occur.
This legislation is complex and contentious. It is broader than National Security. It has privacy implications and could also potentially increase the cost of internet bills. It therefore needs to be subject to robust scrutiny over months not weeks.
The Opposition was not consulted before the introduction of the bill.
Labor is also disappointed the Government introduced the bill without first consulting with the Australian people.
In May last year the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security unanimously recommended that the Government publish an exposure draft of any legislation that proposed a mandatory data retention regime. George Brandis was a member of this committee at the time.
Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus and Shadow Minister for Communications Jason Clare this week wrote to Brandis calling on the Government to release an exposure draft of the data retention legislation for public consultation. The Government has rejected that.
This should be subject to robust scrutiny and the Australian public should be given every opportunity to have their say before such a proposal becomes law.
The Coalition has since accepted Labor’s proposal to delay the debate.
To ensure correct scrutiny of the Bill, Labor frontbencher Clare as well as Shadow Attorney General, Mark Dreyfus will also join the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security, which is designed to oversee such legislation.
Breathe regular, readers: your data is (mostly) safe for now.