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Thursday, 17 October 2002
Page: 5429


Senator STOTT DESPOJA (5:08 PM) —by leave—I move Democrat amendments (4) and (7) on sheet 2599:

(4) Schedule 1, page 3 (after line 16), after item 3, insert:

3A Section 8 (definition of liability period)

Repeal the definition, substitute:

liability period means:

(a) for the launch of a space object—the period beginning when the launch takes place and ending when the return period begins; and

(b) for the return of a space object—the period beginning when the relevant re-entry manoeuvre or other re-entry event begins and ending when the object has come to rest on Earth.

Note: The liability period for an object which does not return to Earth is therefore open-ended.

(7) Schedule 1, item 53, page 12 (lines 20 and 21), omit “so much of the excess amount as does not exceed $3 billion”, substitute “the excess amount”.

As I mentioned in my remarks—and, indeed, about four years ago as well—these amendments relate to the liability periods, and amendment (7) relates to the government cap on liability. I seek to ensure that that is an uncapped liability, for the reasons that I have outlined and that other senators have touched on. I explained in my second reading comments the rationale behind extending that liability period from the launch and the time when that object comes back to earth so that it would deal with the launch and the return of a space object. I think that these are reasonable amendments and I commend them to the Senate. Once again, to save time I will not divide on these amendments but, again, if this does not have support from Labor and the government, I wish to record that the Democrats are the sole supporters of these two amendments.

Question negatived.