Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Raiding the opposition in Australia - again

Back in May, during the election campaign, the Australian Federal Police raided the office of an opposition Senator in an effort to uncover a whistleblower who had embarrassed the government. And now parliament is back, they're raiding that too:

Plain-clothes federal police have entered Parliament House to search for evidence related to the leak of documents from NBN.

The AFP search warrant, obtained by Lateline, shows police want access to emails, records relating to Labor staffers and to news organisations including the ABC.

The development follows the AFP's search of the Melbourne offices of Labor Senator Stephen Conroy and the home of a Labor staffer over the leaks in May, during the election campaign.

Labor has asserted parliamentary privilege over the materials seized, so the government will have to win a vote in the Senate for the material to be released. Good luck with that. But by mounting the raid, they've sent a clear message that dissent and whistleblowing won't be tolerated - another sign of how Australia has become increasingly authoritarian under the coalition government.