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Wednesday, 6 June 1984
Page: 2602

Senator HILL(11.37) —I wish briefly to support the amendment moved by the shadow Attorney-General, Senator Durack, and also to attempt to address the question that has been raised by Senator Harradine. It is quite true that this body is not envisaged as a judicial body. It is an administrative body . The best analogy that can be drawn with any other functionary of the system is the one that Senator Durack made of a police investigation. In so many ways that was how the Senate Standing Committee addressed the matter when it addressed specific powers. I am as concerned as anyone in this chamber that adequate safeguards are built into the system to ensure that this body behaves in a proper way.

Senator Crichton-Browne —What are they?

Senator HILL —Some were inbuilt last night. But I am equally concerned to ensure that there is no governmental interference in a particular investigation or, to use the words that have been debated here, that no government, whether it is one government or an intergovernmental committee, can give directions in a particular investigation. We would consider that intolerable in a specific police investigation and I think it follows that, in relation to a specific term of reference and investigation of this Authority, it is equally intolerable. Therefore, although I agree that it is better than what was in the original Bill , I think the amendment being suggested by the Attorney-General still does not adequately answer that criticism, which is a criticism of principle, that direction by a government or governments should not be given in a particular investigation.