Media Release: Abhorrent bill passes Senate sight unseen

Senator Duncan Spender of the Liberal Democrats has slammed the major parties for passing a bill without even having seen it.

Last night Labor and Coalition Senators combined to pass the Criminal Code Amendment (Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Material) Bill 2019.

The Government claims it had introduced the bill minutes earlier, but the usual process of introduction, where the bill is circulated to all Senators in the Senate chamber and published on the parliament’s website, did not occur.

“If the bill was not properly introduced, it cannot have been passed,” Senator Spender said.

“The President of the Senate has questions to answer about why he did not intervene, in or even comment on, this process when he has intervened in other matters threatening the standing of the Senate.

“It is bad enough when the Government forces a vote on a bill that members of the public haven’t had a chance to respond to. But in this instance, even the Senators haven’t had a chance to look at it.

“If voters vote for Labor or Coalition candidates, they are voting for someone who will vote for legislation sight unseen. Prime Minister Morrison and Mr Shorten could have drafted a bill to kill everyone’s first born and Labor and Coalition parliamentarians would have passed it sight unseen.

“The bill has been publicly released overnight. Just in an initial quick review I can see that it bans sado-masochist websites, because of a flawed definition of torture that does not allow to consensual acts of control and violence.

“I can also see that the bill fails to ban broadcasters from broadcasting abhorrent material and content. This is either based on the view that Kochie would never do such a thing, or it’s because the drafters forgot about broadcasters.”

Media: Kate Fantinel 0401 620 227

Kate.Fantinel@aph.gov.au