Parliamentary Speech: Home Affairs Bill

I rise in support of this bill, the Home Affairs Bill 2023, which terminates the lease over block 26, section 44 in the division of Yarralumla, only a stone's throw away from this house. The coalition stands with the government on this issue, as we will always act to protect our national interest against risks posed by authoritarian powers.

It was only five years ago that the former coalition government, with bipartisan support, passed historic and world-leading espionage and foreign interference laws to protect against unprecedented levels of espionage and foreign interference. We note that the task of preserving our sovereignty, especially our political sovereignty, which includes this House, is an ongoing task. Our adversaries adapt and so must we.

Russia has not acted in good faith towards its neighbours in recent times. As the Prime Minister said this morning, it has launched an invasion of Ukraine that is both immoral and illegal, which has led to the deaths of thousands of innocents. It continues its campaign there, trashing the principles of territorial and political sovereignty.

There is a trust deficit; there is a real risk to our national interest here, and the security advice is that this lease must be terminated. Therefore, we support this bill, and I commend it to the House.