Surveillance Devices Amendment Regulation Disallowance
The Labor Government together with the Greens have voted down an opportunity to improve a recent regulation which provides the Independent Commission Against Corruption with overly broad powers to use illegally made recordings.
The Opposition had attempted to reach out across the political divide to improve the Labor Government’s rushed regulation, whilst still enabling the ICAC to conduct its current investigation without any limitations.
Leader of the Opposition Mark Speakman said the powers granted under the Labor regulation, rather than legislation, have enormous scope beyond any one investigation.
“Our proposed regulation provided everything that ICAC needed for the conduct of Operation Rosny. However, Labor and Greens have teamed up to block the disallowance motion that would have allowed for the amended regulation to be put forward,” said Mr Speakman. “Instead ICAC can now use or publish any existing or even new surveillance recordings made by private citizens without a warrant on any matter for years.”
Shadow Attorney General Alister Henskens said that while the Liberal Party supports a strong ICAC the current regulation gives it free rein to completely ignore the Surveillance Devices Act and encourage future illegal conduct in the nature of “digital vigilante-ism” even if it doesn't relate to the investigation that it is conducting.
“It should alarm law abiding citizens that the Government has allowed powers broader than was necessary for the investigation without any judicial oversight.”
“For more than two years ICAC will be able to obtain any illegal surveillance recording and use it in any investigation, because the Minns Government refused to limit the regulation to only apply to the operation that ICAC had asked it for,” Mr Henskens concluded.