Of all the responsibilities of the Australian Parliament, none is more important than ensuring the security of our nation and its people.
Today we confront emerging and serious threats to our national security.
The Australian Parliament’s responsibility is clear.
It must ensure our intelligence and security agencies have the necessary powers and resources to protect Australian citizens and Australian interests. However, these powers can impinge on the values and freedoms on which our democracy is founded –values and freedoms which Australian citizens rightly expect Parliament to protect. So Parliament must strike a balance between our security imperatives and our liberties and freedoms.
Key to achieving this balance is strong and effective accountability. Enhanced powers demand enhanced safeguards. Public trust and confidence in our security and intelligence agencies can only be assured through strong and rigorous oversight and scrutiny.