Media Release

Palmer United Senator for Queensland and Leader of Palmer United in the Senate, Glenn Lazarus, has today announced the party’s support for the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill and has also proposed an amendment to strengthen the penalties for treason.

Senator Lazarus said the Palmer United Party senators together with Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party Senator Ricky Muir propose the penalty for disclosing the identity of an Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) or Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) officer be increased from a maximum of one year’s jail to a maximum of 10 years.

“These brave and hardworking men and women keep Australia safe while at times undertaking extremely dangerous and highly sensitive work,” Senator Lazarus said.

“Many are putting their own lives at risk to protect our country and way of life and need all of the support and capability necessary to perform their roles with precision, professionalism and success.

“More so, many of these men and women work undercover, they take part in special operations and participate in activities which require high levels of secrecy. As a result their anonymity is paramount to their success and safety.”

 Senator Lazarus said the current penalty for exposing the identity of an ASIO or ASIS is a trivial one year’s jail.

 “Exposing the identity of an ASIO or ASIS officer not only compromises the safety and security of the officer, it also compromises the safety and security of Australia,” he said.

 “We owe the brave men and women of ASIO and ASIS the highest level of security, which is why the Palmer United Party and Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party have today proposed an amendment to legislation to strengthen the penalties in this area.

 “We recommend the penalty for disclosing the identity of an ASIO or ASIS officer or their affiliates be increased from a light penalty of up to one year’s jail to a serious crime of up to 10 years jail.

“We must take the safety and security of our country seriously and we must take the most care possible to ensure the safety of those working hard to protect us.

“Exposing the identity of an ASIO or ASIS officer should be a serious offence and the penalty should be sufficient to warn people from engaging in such a stupid and dangerous act, which is in essence a form of treason.

 “It is a direct breech of a person’s allegiance to this country and it is a serious breach that compromises our national security and should be treated accordingly.”

ENDS