I welcome the appointment of Mr Bret Walker SC as Australia's inaugural Independent National Security Legislation Monitor.
Mr Walker will review the operation, effectiveness and implications of Australia's counter-terrorism and national security legislation, and report to the Prime Minister and the Parliament, on an ongoing basis.
Mr Walker's appointment to this part-time role reflects the Government's commitment to protecting the security of Australia, its people and its interests, while maintaining public confidence that our national security and counter-terrorism laws operate in accordance with the rule of law.
Mr Walker has had a distinguished legal career, having been admitted to the New South Wales Bar in 1979 and appointed Senior Counsel in 1993. He was also President of the NSW Bar Association from November 2001 to November 2003. His experience also includes acting as the Special Commissioner of Inquiry for the NSW Government into Sydney Ferries in 2007, the Special Commissioner of Inquiry into Campbelltown and Camden Hospitals in 2003, and the Commissioner of Inquiry into matters relating to the Thredbo landslide in 2000. He was awarded the Law Council's President's Medal in 2009.
The National Security Monitor is appointed under the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor Act 2010. The Government introduced the legislation creating this new position in response to recommendations from the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, as well as recommendations from the independent Security Legislation Review Committee (the Sheller Committee) and from the Clarke Inquiry into the Case of Dr Mohamed Haneef.
21 April 2011