Re: parliament has been dissolved therefore no privilege therefore do not to be placed under seal
Catallaxy's argument aside:
- Both MHRs & Senators continue to serve - and be paid - "at Her Majesty's pleasure" after prorogation/dissolution. Although not enshrined in the constitution or law, this is the fundamental principle which allows the government to operate in 'caretaker mode'.
- The Senate is considered to be a 'continuing house', and - apart from considering bills/legislation - continues to operate after prorogation/dissolution of Parliament.
- Under long-standing Senate orders & resolutions, committees may continue to operate & meet. The right to do so has never been challenged.
(All the above can be found in Odger's Australian Senate Practice, 13th ed. No point relying on Odgers' "... Representatives ..." for that...)
On top of that:
- Presumably the documents relate to the recent "Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband Network". This committee concluded on May 4th, before Parliament was prorogued/dissolved.
- Parliamentary privilege is inherent to "all proceedings of Parliament" and does not need to be claimed.
- Most importantly: privilege is not restricted to parliamentarians. It can be invoked on anything presented by anybody to Parliament - documents, work product, or statements, by a politician, staffer, or Joe Public (or even on leaked documents presented by a former Senator during the course of his committee membership) - and the matter of whether it is actually subject to privilege or not is then decided by committee.
- Amusingly, while I don't think the HoR committee can meet during the interregnum, the Senate committee probably can...