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Wednesday, 20 June 2001
Page: 24792


Senator BOLKUS (6:08 PM) —There are two points to make here. The sort of regime that the minister is advocating was introduced in New Zealand. The experience there, as the Senate committee has discovered from the head people in New Zealand Customs, is that it does not work. The question of crushed and non-crushed tomatoes is relevant. It is a real live case and a real live situation. Although we are talking about high risk people here, you are not going to get a gun smuggler or an illicit drug smuggler messing up the forms in this case. You will get them through other means and other mechanisms, but they are not the ones who are going to be filling out forms incorrectly. If you want to get them, you will get them on the fact that they are importing contraband.

The fact is that these three provisions— and they apply in three or four circumstances under this legislation, and even looking further down the track we can find more examples where there is a degree of precedence in the legislation—are good examples of where there needs to be an appeal mechanism. Let us get this straight: we are not attempting to remove the offence; we are seeking to remove the strict liability nature attached to it.