"In that case, and in this, it looks like short timeframes are used to control debate about how the internet can be used."
I've come around - I think it's better that these 'consultation' periods are held only for short periods and largely unnoticed.
Because, while Brandis certainly has form in trying to close off debate on these issues, the entire apparatus of government in Australia (at all levels, and on both sides) has form in utterly ignoring any input, criticism or honest questioning that runs counter to whatever it was they wanted to do in the first place.
Gigantic, even taller than first proposed mega-ritch elite-serving casino/hotel complex at Barangaroo? Right, because that's what the public wanted. We said: "just throw us a small bone in the form of, oh, an ugly park and that will totally make us square with public land being used for an enormous, sun-blocking casino catering to super-wealthy international gamblers."
When we talk about the 'metadata' retention program, that was conceived and championed by the (I almost said: "our", but they don't work for us anymore) law enforcement agencies and those bureaucrats wishing to track the public.
In other words, it was dreamed up and planned out by an insular group of like-minded people with a particular world-view and focus. The whole idea of opening that up to (any) consultation is to solicit opinions and arguments from those necessarily outside that soup.
To my knowledge, there was no real support for the proposed legislation that came from that consultation. Academics and lawyers and telcos and IT professionals and privacy advocates all criticised the changes strongly and even those who provided provisional support were still critical of the scope and loose wording - wording that would allow exactly the kind of thing we see being, ostensibly, discussed today.
None of these opinions mattered one bit and the legislation went ahead pretty much exactly as the original proponents wanted.
So it's one thing to not be asked for your opinion; it's another thing to be asked and then roundly ignored. At least if they don't ask, there is less illusion that our governments are anything more than a succession of lizards with authoritarian tendencies.
Which is, of course, why they go through this charade: see, we asked!!
Sometimes I really see the appeal of a religious mindset and the concept of divine judgement. Not because I particular want my ego to live on, but because if such a concept was true, I could only imagine that there is a special corner of hell set aside for those in power who abuse the trust their fellow humans have - however loosely and indirectly - placed in them.