Report: Cabinet agrees to inquiry into press freedoms

Cabinet has reportedly agreed to a parliamentary inquiry into press freedoms, following a series of raids by the Australian Federal Police.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will discuss the proposal when he meets with Labor leader Anthony Albanese today, The Australian reports.

The inquiry would consider the impact of police and intelligence powers on the media, and be conducted by the bipartisan Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.

It would also look at the necessary thresholds for when police should follow up leaks to journalists.

Opposition home affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally will also move a motion tomorrow to establish a Joint Select Committee into the Public’s Right to Know and Press Freedom.

An inquiry would look at disclosure and public reporting of sensitive and classified information.

Last week media bosses from ABC, Nine & News Corp called for major reforms:

  • The right to contest any kind of search warrant on journalists or news organisations before the warrant is issued.
  • Public sector whistleblowers be adequately protected with current laws to be changed.
  • A new regime that limits which documents can be stamped ‘secret’.
  • A proper review of Freedom of Information laws.
  • Journalists be exempted from the national security laws enacted over the last seven years that can put them in jail for just doing their jobs.

Source: SBS

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