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Monday, 27 February 2012
Page: 871


Senator FEENEY (VictoriaParliamentary Secretary for Defence) (20:03): Senator Xenophon, I do not have a great deal to add to what I have already said. I accept the fact that your motives here are pure and that you are seeking for the tribunal to operate, going forward, in a manner that engenders public confidence and I agree that is a worthwhile objective. But the government's view is that the objective is best secured by enshrining the independence of the tribunal and its capacity to govern its own affairs.

With respect to the point you made concerning the process and demystifying the process for the purposes of justifying the decisions of the tribunal, I would point you to the fact that the tribunal is now required to publish reasons for its decisions. They will be public documents in a way with which you are familiar, and the reasons for decisions are then available for people to peruse and make their own assessments.