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Thursday, 12 December 2002
Page: 7858


Senator HARRIS (11:50 AM) —I come back to the original question that I put to the minister. By way of explanation to Senator Faulkner, this bears no inference on his answer; I accept Senator Faulkner's answer. My specific reason for directing the question to the minister is that section 15AB of the Acts Interpretation Act refers to extrinsic material in the interpretation of an act. That section lays out very specifically what a court would be required to take into consideration. My concern is that in the committee stage of this debate the comments by the opposition might not carry the weight of a force in law that an answer from the minister would. It is for that reason that the question was directed to the minister. I put the question to the minister again. Proposed section 34E, subsection (1), states:

When the person first appears before a prescribed authority for questioning under the warrant, the prescribed authority must inform the person of the following ...

Then the bill goes through a series of paragraphs, (a) to (e), including subparagraphs (e)(i) and (e)(ii). In proposed section 34E(2) the bill then deals with a separate issue. It states:

To avoid doubt, subsection (1) does not apply to a prescribed authority if the person has previously appeared before another prescribed authority for questioning under the warrant.

In proposed subsection (3), the bill then deals with the issue on which I am asking for clarification from the minister and states:

At least once in every 24-hour period during which questioning of the person under the warrant occurs, the prescribed authority before whom the person appears for questioning must inform the person of the fact that the person may seek from a federal court a remedy relating to the warrant or the treatment of the person in connection with the warrant.

My question to the minister is: does proposed section 34E(1) continue through to and include proposed subsection (3)? For clarity, I am saying that there is no joining `and' or `or' between the proposed subsections. Proposed subsection (1) clearly sets out that the prescribed authority must carry out a certain list of issues. Does that also include proposed subsection (3) when the person first appears?