The non-existent Parliamentary Joint Standing Cttee on Intelligence and Security
Senator Ludlam: To move-That the Senate-
(a) notes that
(i) the Attorney-General and the Prime Minister have made repeated reference to a regime of parliamentary oversight comprising the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and
Security when commenting on recent scandals pertaining to the surveillance activities of Australia's security and intelligence agencies, and
(ii) the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and Security has not been re-established by the Government; and
(b) calls on the Government to immediately establish the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and Security.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.
Senator LUDLAM: Since this parliament was re-established there have been a wide variety of issues reported in the media and discussed in this place relating to surveillance, intelligence agencies, national security and those sorts of matters. Each time I rise to bring attention to these matters, government and opposition have reminded me that the principal oversight of these agencies and matters in Australia is provided through the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.
That would be wonderful if such an entity existed, but I rise-and this is the purpose of this motion-to point out to the Senate that, as it stands, this committee has not yet been stood up.
This government has been in power for more than three months, but this committee still does not exist. I thought it had actually disappeared off the website with some of Mr Abbott's speeches. It has been brought back; so should this committee.
I commend this motion to the chamber.