NATALIE BARR: Joining us this morning we have former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce and Shadow Agriculture and Resources Minister Joel Fitzgibbon. Good morning to you both. Barnaby, should the Australian Signals Director be given powers to snoop on every day Australians?
BARNABY JOYCE: Well when you think about, (holding mobile phone) I’m going to show you my bank, this is my bank, I’m going to show you where my emails come in, this is where my emails come in, I want to tell you about my phone, I want to tell you about all the things it does and of course if people have the capacity to hack into that they have all your details. If we shut down a bank for a couple of days or shut down the banking system or shut down the share market I think Australians are going to be particularly worried. It is the new advent of how people intrude into your country without invading your country and that is they hack into your country and it is happening to us now. We have the ANU the other day. All those records, they (inaudible) went to ANU they have obviously gone out so they also have the addresses and contents of who those people put down as their first of kin. We have had the APH computer at Parliament House been hacked into. Of course if they hacked into that they hacked into all the phones as well and they have all that material and this is something that is of concern and as the threat rises, our response has to rise otherwise you’re going to be vulnerable to whatever comes your way.
DAVID KOCH: Joel this is a classic case of the law or regulation not keeping up with technology. I suppose every Australian agrees that we need to be protected as long as we know how we are being protected. What are the guidelines and what are the powers and whether there are checks and balances to make sure it’s not abused.
JOEL FITZGIBBON: No Kochie I think this is more the case of the government once again spinning and trying to change the focus. Embarrassed about a newspaper report about them trying to move to spy on Australians, they are now talking ad nauseam about the banking system, the university system etc. As a former Defence Minister I had charge of what is now known as the ASD. They have substantial powers, now be in no doubt about that, but they also have or we in have in place substantial checks and balances on them. This is mission creep and of course the ASD can’t speak publicly for itself but most politicians know that the ASD and other security agencies are pushing against this move. They see it as a distraction from their core business and they certainly have plenty of core business to do.
BARR: Barnaby you’re shaking your head there.
JOYCE: Well first of all let’s go to the first point, we’re trying to change the discussion about us winning the election; I don’t think we are going to be changing that discussion. The next thing, I don’t think Peter Dutton had his head on the pillow and dreamt this up. I think he probably got advice and probably the people he got advice from if I’m going to draw a long bow are people such as the AFP, people such as ASIO. They would be giving you the advice. None of us are technically astute enough to be working out what form of encryption mechanisms and what form of coding we need to put in place to bring about greater protection for the Australian people. Of course this comes from advice from more senior places. It’s completely idiotic to say we just dreamt this up to try and distract the Australian people from other issues because there are no other issues we want to distract them from. We want them to focus quite clearly on the fact we won the election.
KOCH: Okay gents we have to leave it there because we are running out of time. We really appreciate it.