CANBERRA, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- Australian Prime Minister (PM) Scott Morrison has accused Opposition Leader Bill Shorten of being "weak" on terrorism after he refused to support proposed changes to encryption laws.
Australian Labor Party (ALP) in November declared it would not support the changes, which would grant law enforcement agencies the power to access suspected terrorists' encrypted messages, before the parliamentary committee on intelligence and security delivered its final report on the legislation.
It marks the first time that the ALP has withheld support for the governing Liberal National Party Coalition (LNP) on a security issue since the latter took power in 2013 and has effectively killed any chance of the laws being introduced before the end of 2018.
"These are things you just need to act on if you're serious about national security," Morrison told Fairfax Media on Monday.
"We should get it right the first time and Labor should exercise their responsibility to support our leadership on national security. It's a test for Bill Shorten as to whether he's going to put national security first or he's going to put first the various voices that always seek to hold Labor back from making the right choices on national security," Morrison said.
"There is no excuse for this type of weakness," Morrison added.
Shorten offered to support interim changes that would increase the power of law enforcement agencies while the encryption laws were reviewed but the LNP refused to come to a compromise.
The proposed encryption laws have been met with consternation by the technology sector with global giants such as Facebook, Apple and Google saying they represented an invasion of privacy.