- Metadata retention
- National security legislation
- War powers
- Whistleblower protection
Andrew does not support the Government having the power to strip Australians of their citizenship. He believes this decision should be left with the courts.
Andrew resigned from the Office of National Assessments in 2003 in protest over the Iraq war. He was the only serving intelligence official in Australia, the UK or the US to resign publicly before the invasion.
He believes the dreadful situation in Iraq is a mess largely of our own making and an inquiry must be held into how Australia helped start this war more than 12 years ago for entirely fraudulent reasons. There can be no doubt our involvement in Iraq increased the extremist threat to Australia and to Australians overseas.
Andrew believes that the Federal Government’s deal to establish a security relationship with Iran is deeply problematic. The Iranian regime is notorious and has demonstrated repeatedly that it can’t be trusted. Moreover the security agreement seems to be intended only to allow the return of Iranian asylum seekers.
The mandatory metadata retention law requires telecommunication companies to keep records of Australians’ electronic footprint for two years including details of phone calls they’ve made, emails they’ve sent, websites they’ve accessed and even location data from their mobile phones. Andrew believes that this is clearly an unwarranted extension of the power of government and should be overturned.
Recent changes to national security legislation hand security services a blank cheque, co-signed by the Federal Liberal Government and Federal Labor Opposition. They are among scores of laws passed by Australian Parliaments since the 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that have put Australia on the cusp of becoming a police state.
Andrew was one of the only Members of the House of Representatives to vote against the Government’s recent national security legislation and he continues to be an outspoken critic of the direction in which the Government is heading.
Andrew believes that Australia bombing Syria is illegal, ineffective and dangerous. It is illegal because there is no United Nations imprimatur, no invitation from the Syrian Government and the argument of collective self-defence does not apply. It will be ineffective because it is not possible to defeat an unconventional enemy like Islamic State from the air. And all that bombing Syria will achieve will be to help the Assad regime and drag Australia even further into the mess that we helped create more than 12 years ago.
Andrew has also called on the Government to take 30,000 Syrian refugees in addition to our normal humanitarian intake.
In Australia, the Government executive alone has the power to declare war. Andrew believes it should be the Australian Parliament that debates and authorise the deployment of military force, as is the case in most other democracies.
Andrew introduced legislation in 2010 and 2012 to provide more protection for whistleblowers. His Evidence Amendment (Journalists’ Privilege) Bill was only the 18th Private Members’ Bill to pass both Houses of Parliament since Federation. The Government did finally act by passing improved whistleblower protection laws in 2013, but Andrew continues to campaign for whistleblower protection to be extended to all public officials.