The parliamentary committee charged with investigating a wishlist of proposals to strengthen the surveillance and enforcement powers of security agencies will miss its end-of-year reporting deadline, almost certainly guaranteeing there will be no legislation before the next election.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon originally asked the Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security to investigate a range of proposals to streamline and increase national security powers in May, with a reporting deadline of July 31. After the committee baulked at the deadline, it was pushed back to the end of the year, and the Attorney-Generals's Department prepared a discussion paper to enable the committee to inform public debate and the committee's own hearings.