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Thursday, 17 November 1983
Page: 2883


Mr LIONEL BOWEN (Minister for Trade)(3.40) —I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

This Bill makes amendments to 14 Acts of the Parliament in consequence of the Director of Public Prosecutions Bill. The amendments can be placed in several categories. The first category represents amendments to Acts which vest in the Attorney-General an exclusive right to commence or conduct prosecutions or prosections of a particular kind. A like right will be given by the amendments to the Director of Public Prosecutions. This category comprises amendments to the following provisions: The Geneva Conventions Act 1957, section 7; the Public Accounts Committee Act 1951, section 21; the Royal Commissions Act 1902, section 10; and the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979, sub-section 7 (7).

The second category comprises amendments to Acts which require the consent of the Attorney-General or an official to prosecutions. The proposed amendment will extend this function to the Director but preserve the Attorney-General's function. The provisions in question are: the Defence (Transitional Provisions) Act 1946, section 15 and the Public Order (Protection of Persons and Property) Act 1971, sections 11 and 23. The third category consists of amendments to various procedural provisions which refer to the Attorney-General or an official . The proposed amendments will add references to the Director. The provisions in question are: The Crimes Act 1914, sections 20AA and 21AA; the Crimes (Aircraft) Act 1963, section 24; the Crimes (Hijacking of Aircraft) Act 1972, section 22; and the Crimes (Protection of Aircraft) Act 1973, section 19. A fourth category comprises amendments to Acts to remove doubt as to the operation of the Director of Public Prosecutions Bill and certain Acts. The provisions in question are: The Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court Act, section 53; the Judiciary Act 1903, sections 69 and 71; and the Special Prosecutors Act 1982, section 8.

Two amendments remain for mention. The first amends the Schedule to the Commonwealth Places (Application of Laws) Act 1970 to add a number of provisions of the Director of Public Prosecutions Act to the provisions referred to in the Schedule, being provisions that do not apply when, in effect, arrangements have been made with a State for the prosecution of offences under applied State laws committed in Commonwealth places. The amendment to be finally mentioned is that made by clause 29 to section 6P of the Royal Commissions Act to add the Director of Public Prosecutions to the list of persons and authorities to whom a royal commission may communicate information. This Bill is a necessary complement to the Director of Public Prosections Bill and will enable the Director to discharge effectively the functions given to him by that Bill. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Spender) adjourned.