The raid was the second conducted by the AFP in a bid to find out who leaked material on the NBN earlier this year; the first raid was carried out during the election campaign in May. The leaked material formed the basis for several stories that embarrassed the government and NBN Co, which called in the AFP
Bernardi told the Guardian Australia on Thursday that has was seeking advice over what happened on Wednesday, and depending on what he was told, he would decide whether to back the Labor move to ask the privileges committee to decide whether material gathered during the raid should be handed over to the AFP. The material is now with parliamentary officials.
The three senators from the Nick Xenophon bloc have already said they will back Labor and the Greens are likely to do so as well. Independent Jacqui Lambie has also expressed her support.
He said on the Guardian Australia podcast, Australian Politics Live, that when his Melbourne office was raided in May, his staff had also recorded the goings-on which was how they had known that an NBN Co staffer was accompanying the AFP on the raid.
Conroy said as a former communications minister he could confidently assert that there was no top-secret document in the possession of NBN Co as the AFP claimed. "No documents produced within the NBN Co... would come within a bull’s roar of top secret," he stressed.
Claiming that documents were commercial-in-confidence was another furphy, according to Conroy, as the NBN Co is a public-sector monopoly.
He also insisted that the AFP had no jurisdiction to conduct the raid because the staff of NBN Co were not commonwealth officers, adding that Labor would reserve its legal rights even though it was pursuing the matter in parliament.