intelligence oversight Rex Patrick
Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick. Image: Mick Tsikas/AAP.

The prospect of any moves to rectify Australia's deeply flawed intelligence oversight mechanisms has vanished after Labor yesterday joined with the Coalition to kill off a move by South Australian senator Rex Patrick to expand the powers of parliament's intelligence committee.

Patrick's bill to give the committee the power to conduct its own inquiries into operational matters, subject to a veto by the government for sensitive matters, was referred to the Senate's Finance and Public Administration Committee in August for a short inquiry which attracted just six submissions and a public hearing lasting exactly 56 minutes. Yesterday, the committee issued a report with the major parties rejecting the bill.