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Defence, Government Federal

Intelligence Committee tables report on military secrets legislation

Parliament of Australia 2 mins read

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) today tabled its Advisory Report on the Defence Amendment (Safeguarding Australia’s Military Secrets) Bill 2023.

The Committee’s unanimous report recommended that the Bill pass and made four recommendations for the Government’s consideration including:

  • assessing the existing legislation and procedures and whether they sufficiently cover working or training for paramilitary organisations and militias by former defence personnel
  • providing the Minister for Defence with the ability to determine by legislative instrument classes or categories of non-former Defence members that are not required to apply for an authorisation – for example, in cases where a company has been approved to provide goods under the Defence Export Control (DEC) arrangements
  • assessing how existing legislation and procedures covering former National Intelligence Community officers and their work for foreign governments should be strengthened, and address the need for further legislation

The Bill would amend the Defence Act 1903 to regulate the work that certain former defence staff members can perform for or on behalf of a military organisation or government body of a relevant foreign country, without a foreign work authorisation.

Mr Peter Khalil MP, Chair of the PJCIS, said “Once passed, this Bill will deal with the potential of former defence staff members revealing sensitive defence information and placing Australia’s national security at risk. In addition it provides our allies with more confidence that securing sensitive military information is at the forefront of the Australian Government’s national security thinking”

Further information on the inquiry can be obtained from the Committee’s website.

Media inquiries

Chair Mr Peter Khalil MP, via Lachlan Hinds
0455 999 677
lachlan.t.hinds@aph.gov.au

For background information

Committee Secretariat, Parliamentary Joint Committee on intelligence and Security
(02) 6277 2360
pjcis@aph.gov.au

For more information about this Committee, you can visit its website. On the site, you can make a submission to an inquiry, read other submissions, and get details for upcoming public hearings. You can also track the Committee and receive email updates by clicking on the blue ‘Track Committee’ button in the bottom right hand corner of the page.

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