Cracks are beginning to appear in the bipartisan approach between the Coalition and Labor over counter-terrorism and national security.
Labor leader Bill Shorten has asked Prime Minister Tony Abbott to review anti-terror laws relating to media reporting of intelligence operations.
In a letter to the PM, Shorten called for a revision of legislation passed earlier this month – with the ALP’s support – which could see Australian journalists jailed for up to 10 years for disclosing information about special intelligence operations, SBS reported.
This week, Labor helped the government pass the second tranche of its counter-terrorism legislation – the Foreign Fighters bill – through the Senate.
Shorten said security agencies should have “all the powers they need” to keep Australians safe, “However, it is also important that, by legislating to address the terrorist threat, we do not ourselves destroy the very democratic freedoms that we are seeking to protect”.
This is a departure from the rhetoric the Opposition leader has expressed in recent months.
“The Prime Minister and I are partners when it comes to matters of national security and protecting Australians. We are in this together,” Shorten said in September.
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