News National Police sought ABC journalist’s travel records

Police sought ABC journalist’s travel records

AFP officers raided the ABC headquarters in Sydney, a day after raiding a News Corp reporter's home. Photo: AAP
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Labor is demanding federal Attorney-General Christian Porter explain why the federal police requested a journalist’s private travel records from Qantas, amid concerns about press freedom in Australia.

The AFP asked for senior ABC reporter Dan Oakes’ travel details as part of an investigation into a leak which exposed allegations of misconduct by Australian troops in Afghanistan.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said Mr Porter should detail the circumstances around police’s demands.

“He says that journalists aren’t the target of these investigations, but the fact that there was a demand by the AFP for records of flights from a journalist from Qantas shows that’s not the case,” Mr Albanese said in Brisbane on Monday.

Police raided the ABC’s Sydney headquarters last month, and former Australian military lawyer David William McBride is awaiting trial over the leak.

Relating to a separate story, News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst’s Canberra home was also searched, triggering concerns over press freedom.

“We’re concerned about whistleblowers as well as journalists being targeted in a way that is not appropriate and the government needs to explain what the circumstances of these AFP demands were,” Mr Albanese said.

A parliamentary inquiry is under way, with the committee expected to canvass “contested hearings” in relation to warrants authorising raids on journalists.