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Wednesday, 19 October 1983
Page: 1898

Mr LIONEL BOWEN (Minister for Trade)(10.53) —I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The Transfer of Prisoners (Consequential Amendments) Bill 1983 is necessary because of the existence of other Commonwealth legislation which authorises the removal of prisoners. The Removal of Prisoners (Australian Capital Territory) Act 1968 and the Removal of Prisoners (Territories) Act 1923 authorise the removal of prisoners from the Australian Capital Territory and the other Territories-including the Northern Territory-respectively and, in certain circumstances, their return. The Transfer of Prisoners Bill will also authorise the transfer of prisoners. Accordingly, there is the possibility of conflict between that Bill and these two Acts. The Transfer of Prisoners (Consequential Amendments) Bill 1983 is intended to resolve these possible conflicts.

Because of the difficulty in identifying the circumstances in which a removal Act should be used rather than the transfer legislation and vice versa, the Bill provides for the Commonwealth Attorney-General to make a choice of the appropriate law according to the circumstances of each individual case. In addition, it should be noted that the Removal of Prisoners (Territories) Act will be amended by the Bill to no longer apply to transfers from the Northern Territory. This amendment has been requested by the Northern Territory. Henceforth, all transfers from the Northern Territory will be dealt with by the Northern Territory transfers of prisoners legislation. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Spender) adjourned.