A Melbourne man has been charged with preparing for foreign interference in Australia.
The 65-year-old is the first person in the country to be charged with a foreign interference offence since national security laws passed in 2018.
He appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday, charged with preparing for a foreign interference offence.
It comes after a year-long investigation including by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the Australian Federal Police.
“Foreign interference is contrary to Australia’s national interest, it goes to the heart of our democracy,” AFP Deputy Commissioner Ian McCartney said.
“It is corrupting and deceptive, and goes beyond routine diplomatic influence practiced by governments.”
The investigation is ongoing.