The Pirate Party today made a brief submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security’s Inquiry into the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill 2014. The Pirate Party criticised the length of the Bill and its explanatory memorandum, as well as the short timeframe afforded for public comment.
Mozart Olbrycht-Palmer, author of the Pirate Party’s submission, commented: “Combined, the Foreign Fighters Bill and its explanatory memorandum are more than 350 pages long. For something as simple as preventing the handful of Australians allegedly heading overseas to fight and train with terrorist organisations from leaving or returning, these amendments are extremely broad. This Bill covers not just migration and passport restrictions, but also extends the powers of ASIO operatives and reduces judicial oversight. It even amends social security legislation. Our submission protested the enormity of the Bill and the nine days provided for the public to make submissions.
“Railroading such broad legislation through Parliament and token public consultation is fundamentally undemocratic. We are losing rights and freedoms before we realise what’s going on.”
This is the second of three waves of expected national security reforms and the process of presenting an enormous bill with minimal time for public consultation has been repeated. It is anticipated that the Government will soon present legislation that will introduce a data retention regime.