Jul 30, 2014

National security inquiry stretched by tight timeframe

The rushed timeframe for a parliamentary inquiry into the government's national security reforms may yet cause headaches for proper consideration of the reforms.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The parliamentary inquiry into the government’s first national security bill has had to extend its timeframe for submissions as civil society organisations rush to meet the tight timeframe set by the committee.

The Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, chaired by Liberal backbencher Dan Tehan, yesterday extended its submissions timeframe to next Wednesday, August 6. The inquiry has a reporting date of September 8 for the extensive and detailed National Security Legislation Amendment Bill. However, the inquiry is being conducted during the parliamentary winter recess, when MPs and senators traditionally travel overseas. Labor defence spokesman Stephen Conroy, for example, is currently in the United States attending the Australia-American Leadership Dialogue. Conroy and Labor Senate leader Penny Wong were added by Labor to the committee in June, beefing the committee up into the most experienced in Parliament.

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