At a time when so many electors are so disenchanted with our politics we don’t need unnecessary conflict in this place, which this bill, as presented, is.
The government should have made a compelling case for expanding powers further. They should have set out a rationale, but they have failed to do so.
They have failed to even try. This has been all about the politics and not about the policy, and this has been demonstrated in the summary way in which the minister responded to the concerns and proposals put forward by the Labor party to try to find a way through.
There is no disagreement of principle here when it comes to the important role of the character test and the broad discretionary powers which are necessary to go with it. These are things that we support now, as we did in 2014.
But what we have here is a failure by the government to have regard to the consequences of its actions and a failure of the government to look to the national interest in progressing significant legislation impacting on people’s lives.