Assange national security threat

FEDERAL MP Shayne Neumann has condemned imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as a threat to national security.

The Member for Blair said releasing classified diplomatic cables was a very serious matter.

But he said revelations that his Labor colleague Mark Arbib had been regularly speaking to American consulates was of little consequence.

Last week WikiLeaks revealed Senator Arbib told US diplomats then-prime minister Kevin Rudd wanted to prevent a challenge from Julia Gillard in October last year - eight months before the challenge materialised.

“As a minister you speak to foreign diplomats all the time, it’s not unusual for these sorts of conversations to happen,” Mr Neumann said.

“I have had conversations with many diplomats, including Chinese and Israeli, but it’s part of your job.

“I think Mr Assange is entitled to government assistance as an Australian citizen in a foreign country and he is getting that help. But I think his disclosures are grossly irresponsible and could put our country and our allies’ national security at risk.”

Mr Assange is accused of having unprotected sex with two women who both insisted he use a condom.

Mr Assange strenuously denies the allegations.

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