Senator Penny Wright speaks to reporters about George Brandis's job offer to Gillian Triggs:
"It's now clear that the Attorney-General put undue pressure on an independent office holder to resign. That is completely inappropriate and if anyone is going to resign, it should be the Attorney General."
If I’m feeling battered, I wonder how the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission is feeling. Probably the most difficult day I’ve experienced in Senate Estimates, today, as I had to witness a fine person and exceptional lawyer, Professor Gillian Triggs, being relentlessly hounded by two government Senators, shamelessly assisted by the overwhelmingly partisan Chair of the committee. Senate committees can often be political but can also be a source of good information and strong cross-party work. For me, this was an absolute low point.
The Australian Greens have called on the government to increase the powers of the newly appointed Independent National Security Legislation Monitor.
Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright said the Monitor needed greater funding and scrutiny powers to oversee the Abbott Government's massively expanded national security framework.
"The announcement of the new Monitor is long overdue and very welcome - but we now need to boost the position's powers to make sure it's more than a toothless tiger," Senator Wright said.
I am pleased to rise and speak to this important bill, which I have introduced with the aim of preserving and enhancing the crucial role of the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor (INSLM).
In a world characterised by unrest and fragile peace, the Australian Greens understand the need to have a robust conversation about our national security laws. We also have the highest regard for human rights and freedoms.