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Wednesday, 9 May 1984
Page: 1817


Senator GARETH EVANS (Attorney-General)(12.45) —The Government does not want to be too rude about what is manifestly a well-intentioned effort simply to clarify that which is already there, but I am afraid we have to say that it is both unnecessary and undesirable to go down this track. It is unnecessary because the amendment really adds nothing to the clause as it stands. It achieves exactly the same effect; that is, that one does not have to give the insured the various notices required by the Bill if the insured has engaged a broker who is acting for the insured, that is, not acting under a binder to an insurance company. That is what we are both seeking to ensure, but I would argue fairly strenuously that that is already clearly accomplished by the clause as it stands now.

It is undesirable to go down the track mentioned by Senator Archer because the way in which he would wish to restate the obvious, with respect, is itself awkward and introduces a new concept. Instead of saying that the notice provisions do not apply, what he is suggesting we do is to say that the notice provisions have been deemed to have been complied with. He is introducing an artificial deeming notion which has undesirable consequences in a variety of legal ways. It being 12.45 p.m., I do not have time to spell those out. But why go around that particular circuitous bit of fancy, creating all sorts of extra legal fictions in the process, when we already have a clause which does the job neatly and succinctly?

Sitting suspended from 12.45 to 2 p.m.