The Labor Party has refused to back the bill in its current form, but says it will back a revised bill in order to allow schedule one, the bit that gives new powers to the spy agencies, if it was only available to counter-terror agencies.
But the government is insisting on having the bill — officially known as the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018 — must be passed in its entirety by 6 December.
On Monday, Attorney-General Christian Porter said MPs should pass the laws before Parliament rises for the Christmas break.
“We are now at the end of the day. This legislation is coming into parliament and you can choose the side of the tech companies, who are a little bit sad they're going be modestly inconvenienced, or you can choose the side of our intelligence and law enforcement agencies, who say this is utterly critical to their endeavours to protect Australians from harm.”
Opponents of the bill are continuing to voice their objections to a law which they say will weaken cyber defences and make the country as a whole less safe.
“There is no one who the Coalition Government can find to defend this bill except people who will be gaining powers from them,” she said, in what was a clear reference to the intelligence agencies.
“Almost every single person that came before the committee highlighted just how dangerous this bill was, the severe implications for our digital security. To then see the Coalition come out in this way is frankly stunning.”