NBN raids: Senate refers seized material to privileges committee

Senators unlikely to see material seized in raids

Senator Stephen Conroy

Senator Stephen Conroy

The Senate has agreed to refer to its Standing Committee of Privileges a claim of parliamentary privilege made by Senator Stephen Conroy. The claim relates to material seized during a series of high-profile Australian Federal Police raids that sought to identify the source of leaks of NBN internal documents.

The AFP in May raided Conroy’s electoral office and the home of one of his staffers as part of an investigation into the leaked NBN documents used by Labor to attack the handling of the National Broadband Network rollout. Last week, the AFP staged a further raid seeking access to email held on servers operated by the Department of Parliamentary Services.

Conroy claimed parliamentary privilege over the material obtained by the AFP during the raids, with the Clerk of the Senate now holding the material.

NBN has defended the decision to refer the leaks to the AFP.

The leader of the opposition in the Senate, Senator Penny Wong, today moved the motion referring the matter to the privileges committee. Under the motion moved by Wong, the committee will not inspect the material seized.

“If the committee is able to determine the matter without examining the material, it shall report accordingly to the Senate, making recommendations for the disposition of the material,” the motion states.

“If the committee is unable to determine the matter without an examination of the material, it may, with the further approval of the Senate, appoint an appropriate person to examine the material and report to it on the claim of parliamentary privilege. The committee shall then report to the Senate.”

Attorney General George Brandis said the government would not oppose the motion but had “serious misgivings” over its structure.

“It seems almost impossible that the privileges committee can competently perform the task referred to it without the inspection of the content of the documents,” Brandis said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags nbn conational broadband networkNational Broadband Network (NBN)

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Rohan Pearce

Rohan Pearce

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?