Additional Comments from the Australian Greens

Additional Comments from the Australian Greens

1.1      The Australian Greens have concerns about Schedule 1 of the Parliamentary Service Amendment Bill 2014, noting that it both creates an unnecessary position on the Security Management Board and formalises operational measures as part of the Board’s remit.

1.2      Formalising an AFP position on the Security Management Board – be it the Commissioner or other representative as listed – is unnecessary. Section 65A of the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 already permits the Board to invite the heads of other organisations to attend or be represented at its meetings, and this discretionary power is sufficient.

1.3      The expansion of the Board’s remit to include the ‘operation’ of security is also a concern in light of recent debates about face coverings and the carrying of firearms within the chambers of Parliament. There has been a move toward militarisation of our public space, and the Australian Greens are concerned the changes in this Bill aim to further facilitate this trend.

1.4      The Australian Greens do not support firearms being carried inside the Parliament, and view this as a clear divergence from long standing practice in the Westminster system that no arms are carried in houses of parliament.  It is completely inappropriate for firearms to be held inside the House of Representatives and the Senate.

1.5      The Australian Greens believe there should be stronger regulation of firearms, including a ban on semi-automatic guns. We do not believe it is appropriate to facilitate the physical presence of weapons, or a cultural perspective that says guns are needed to protect people in a workplace.

Senator Janet Rice

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