On Thursday (4th), Liberal Senator James Paterson (James Paterson) was elected as the chairman of the influential Federal Congress’ Joint Intelligence and Security Committee.
The bipartisan joint committee met on Thursday (4th) afternoon to elect Senator Paterson to replace Andrew Hastie. Hastie, the former captain of the Special Air Service Corps (SAS), was promoted to the post in the cabinet reorganization last year. Prior to the Assistant Secretary of Defense, he served as the chairman of the committee for four years.
The Australian media pointed out that Paterson is a Victorian native, a well-known hawk to China, and a member of Australia's highly influential group of parliamentarians "Wolverine". He publicly questioned the influence of the Chinese Communist Party in Australia.Like Hastie, Paterson was denied his visa to visit China after annoying the political leadership in Beijing.
Paterson will continue to co-chair the China Coalition within Congress with Labor Senator Kimberley Kitching.
Paterson said that he was honored to be elected as the chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee and he looked forward to working with "our dedicated colleagues in the intelligence community who are working hard to protect Australia and our citizens."
The committee will investigate Australia’s extremist movement and activism this year, and conduct multiple reviews of national security legislation, including reviewing the powers of the Australian Federal Police and legislation restricting the actions of high-risk terrorist criminals.
The committee will also review the national security risks affecting Australia's higher education and research sectors-this investigation aims to eliminate the adverse effects of the Chinese government and its agents.
Paterson said: "We must ensure that violent extremism does not gain a foothold in Australia and that our universities have strong policies to protect their researchers and students from foreign coercion and influence..."
In his new position, he will have to establish a close working relationship with Anthony Byrne, the senior vice chairman of the committee and Labour MP, who has already established close ties with Canberra's national security agency.
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