Transparency turbulence for Labor Government
The Senate has today made clear it’s expectations of greater transparency from the Albanese Labor Government on the use of Special Purpose Aircraft (SPA) flights.
As a result of motions moved by the Coalition and The Greens the Albanese Labor Government has been ordered:
- to table information relating to SPA flights to the extent such information can be provided consistent with advice from security agencies;
- to table all current and previous versions of the SPA Guidelines provided to officials around the use of SPA flights; and
- to provide in confidence to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) any related advice that informed the changes to the SPA Guidelines.
The Coalition’s motion means that there will be careful assessment, without breaching or risking security considerations, of the security advice that led to the changes to the SPA Guidelines.
This can then determine whether or not this Labor Government has applied it in a fair way or whether there has been gross overreach to use that security advice to avoid transparency.
The Coalition understands and respects the role our law enforcement and national security agencies play in providing advice to Government.
The PJCIS is well trusted to hold information in confidence, but it will enable scrutiny by the Opposition and indeed by Government backbenchers.
For a Prime Minister that lauded promises of a more accountable and transparent government, this chain of events only continues to demonstrate this Labor Government’s rank hypocrisy.