Additional comments from
Senator Sterle and Senator Gallacher
Labor is considering amendments to this Bill. The report on this Bill
does not adequately address the adding of a new purpose to the two Acts
governing security in the aviation and maritime sectors.
The report does not allocate significant weight to an examination of
this issue. In our view a detailed explanation about how these changes would
work on the ground alongside the central task of transport security is not
provided in the report.
Labor supports well targeted measures that address serious and organised
crime. Those who use our aviation and maritime transport systems as means to
distribute drugs and other contraband into, out of and within Australia commit
crimes. Sensible measures to minimise this trade, detect the perpetrators, and
bring them to justice are initiatives that Labor will of course support. The
report of the National Ice Taskforce, from December last year, was welcomed by
Labor supports a transport security framework that has a clear purpose
in its own right. Transport security is a vital mission for government – but it
is a qualitatively different task from targeting organised crime in our
transport system. The two Acts subject to change currently target "unlawful
interference" in the aviation and maritime sectors. "Unlawful interference"
is currently defined in both Acts as being acts that impede the operation of
airports, aircraft, ports, offshore facilities or ships or which place the
safety of facilities, ships or aircraft at risk - with exceptions for mere
advocacy, protest, dissent or industrial action. The current focus is
accordingly on targeting behaviour which may cause harm to passengers, crew,
aviation and maritime personnel, the general public and damage to property.
The changes proposed will add a new, secondary purpose to both Acts as
per above – and administer this solely through changes to eligibility criteria
for existing Aviation Security Identification Cards (ASICs) and Maritime
Security Identification Cards (MSICs). There is a potential risk that widening
the purpose of transport security legislation will confuse the two missions of
transport security and targeting serious or organised crime in the transport
system. Both these tasks are important – the question is whether achievement of
both is best done via the mechanism here. Clarity of purpose is a really
important issue from a mission perspective, and the main report does not
address this issue adequately.
Senator Glenn Sterle Senator
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