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TV interview – Seven Sunrise

The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP


Subjects: TikTok; National Firearms Agreement

HOST: The Prime Minister has reportedly signed off on a TikTok ban for all government devices. It follows an extensive review into the social media app by the Home Affairs Department with security concerns raised over the app. The move brings Australia in line with New Zealand, Canada, the US and the UK. Joining me now live from Canberra is Federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus. Good morning to you. Tell us why has the Government decided to ban TikTok on all government issued devices?

ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Good morning Nat. We've been considering advice from agencies. When we've got an announcement to make, we'll make it.

HOST: So, we've got word that TikTok's General Manager claims he hasn't been briefed on the ban. He just has seen it in the media. Why hasn't the Government told the company?

ATTORNEY-GENERAL: This has been a lot in the media. But when we've got an announcement to make, we will make it. We've been considering advice from security agencies.

HOST: So, has it leaked from your office?

ATTORNEY-GENERAL: I'm not going to comment on stories that appear in the media. When we've got an announcement to make. We'll make it we've been considering advice from security agencies now for some time.

HOST: So, do you believe that the app is dangerous?

ATTORNEY-GENERAL: I'm not going to reveal the advice from security agencies. When we have an announcement to make, we will make it

HOST: Are we behind on this? Because we've got, you know, the major countries around the world, the UK, US, New Zealand and Canada, have all banned it on government devices. So are we behind as a nation?

ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Well, you're right to make that observation that a number of countries around the world have in fact banned TikTok on government devices. Our position is that we go about these things in a deliberate way. We consider the advice from agencies and when we're ready, we make the announcement.

HOST: Okay, moving on. Australia's gun control is set to become even tougher with the National Firearms Registry one step closer. You've met with police ministers from across the country to progress these reforms which would see state databases linked, loopholes closed, to help police deal with violent offenders. What is the need for this new firearms registry?

ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Following the tragic events at Wieambilla in December last year National Cabinet met early in the year. It asked Police Ministers to work together on a National Firearms Register and I was very pleased to host the extraordinary meeting of Police Ministers yesterday. What we're working towards is a National Firearms Register so that there'll be a single, near real time source of advice for police officers across the country about who firearms owners are, and what firearms they've got. We think that this is going to make police and the whole community safer and I'm really pleased to say there was a tremendous cooperative spirit among Police Ministers yesterday.

HOST: Okay, Mark Dreyfus, we thank you very much for your time today.

ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Thanks very much Nat.