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Wednesday, 28 May 1997
Page: 3842

Senator MURRAY(11.48 a.m.) —With the indulgence of the committee, before Senator Brown responds to your question, might I suggest an alternative? I am not of a mind to support any adjournment or further delay of this bill. However, if Senator Brown wished to move an amendment, what he could do is indicate that this amendment portion of the bill would only come into play in, say, six months. That would give the government the opportunity to have a look at it, decide to adapt it for its own needs or deal with it in terms of the detail which we are looking for.

I am very uncomfortable with the fact that I have had just one day to look at it. I support the principle and the idea absolutely, but I am not sure if it is the right bill and I am not sure what the cost consequences are and so on. But it is something so dear to our hearts as a promotion that I would really like to see it go through. One of the ways in which we could accommodate the fears that are being expressed here is to delay your amendment coming into law for six months or maybe even longer—nine months—so that, effectively, the clause itself would have a sunset clause. Government would come back and say, `It doesn't fit' or `We are going to accept it' or `We are going to change it' or `We are going to put it somewhere.' At that time we can have a debate about whether it is withdrawn.