Australia politics live update: Morrison introduces religious discrimination bill; Victoria records 1,254 new Covid cases

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Australia’s overseas spy service has revealed that the former deputy commissioner of the NSW police force, Catherine Burn, is now its deputy director-general.

The Australian Secret Intelligence Service (Asis) decided to publicly reveal the identities of its two deputy directors general (previously only the director-general, Paul Simon, was publicly disclosed). Burn’s appointment occurred in April 2018, but has only been revealed now.

The Asis website has been updated to say: “Catherine was appointed ASIS’s Deputy-Director General Capability & Corporate Management in April 2018. Prior to this, Catherine had a distinguished career with the New South Wales Police Force (NSWPF) reaching the rank of Deputy Commissioner.”

The other Deputy-Director General (for Operations) is Fabio Meloni, a long-time foreign affairs official.

A report by the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security – tabled in parliament this week – explained this disclosure: “For the purposes of the 2019-20 No. 19 Review, the ASIS Director-General advised the Committee of his decision pursuant to s.41(b)(ii) of the IS Act to publicly declare the identities of the two Deputy Directors-General of ASIS. This declaration is reflected in the official witness list for the classified hearings for these reviews from April 2021, and the Committee acknowledges the trust placed in the Administration and Expenditure Review process with the formal identification of Mr Fabio Meloni and Ms Catherine Burn through this mechanism.”

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Second Coalition backbencher crosses the floor

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