In Canberra, on the last day of the sitting of parliament for the year, the House of Representatives passed an encryption bill which gives security agencies better access to encrypted messages such as those sent via WhatsApp and Facebook.
The federal government demanded Labor pass the new laws despite warnings from technology companies that the measures weakened privacy and security.
Labor leader, Bill Shorten, dismissed accusations he was deliberately delaying the bill, saying “I’ve co-operated with three different Liberal Prime Ministers over the last five years to improve, amend and pass 15 sets of national security legislation. That important work is continuing in the parliament today.”
The bill had previously passed through the Senate with amendments by Labor.