Abbott's national security failure

By Michelle Grattan

As Gillian Triggs, president of the Human Rights Commission, put it rather wryly to a free speech symposium on Thursday: "Seemingly overnight there has been a radical reversal of the public debate, from protection of the right to freedom of speech in our democratic, multicultural society to introduction of a suite of proposals to limit that right in the interests of national security.

When Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull was not invited to Monday’s meeting of cabinet’s national security committee, which discussed mandatory metadata retention for two years as part of a national security package, process was trashed, with bad consequences.

Not happy when on the back foot, Brandis pulled out of the free speech symposium, which had been organised by Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson, who was appointed by the government to especially focus on "the liberal human right of free speech".

Read more here: Business Spectator


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