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Wednesday, 6 June 1984
Page: 2673

Senator CRICHTON-BROWNE(8.27) —If the Attorney-General thinks commonsense will prevail I ask him why he does not let it prevail in respect of the legislation. Why does he assume that commonsense will prevail through judgements that are made outside the ambit of the legislation? If he accepts that the proposition we are putting is one of commonsense in terms of the application of the legislation, why does he not put it in the legislation? Would he feel comfortable in a situation in which investigatory power is given to the Authority and, to use the definition he gave this afternoon, to have somebody who is 'technically efficient' in terms of knowing the ins and outs of computers to be--

Senator Gareth Evans —Repetitive.

Senator CRICHTON-BROWNE —Yes, it might be repetitive, but frankly repetition does not necessarily detract from the argument. I ask the Attorney-General whether he would feel comfortable with a policeman, whose knowledge of the evidence is limited to the experience he has had. Would he feel comfortable with somebody who does not have a discipline in terms of the law making judgements about whether he ought to provide his taxation returns of his personal financial or business transactions? I use the word 'personal' loosely, given its definition in this Bill. By and large, personal business dealings and general business dealings are exactly the same thing. Would the Attorney feel comfortable having somebody sitting in judgment upon him under the powers that are given to this Authority? Would he feel terribly relaxed about it if the person sitting in judgement was not somebody with the qualifications of a person whom he would think ought normally to be making judgements about him in a normal criminal court or normal civil case?

Amendment negatived.

Postponed proposed new clause 10A (Performance of functions).

The CHAIRMAN —We now turn back to the power to interview. The Committee will remember that we earlier inserted clauses 10 and 10A, dealing with different matters. The Committee has accepted amendments dealing with this aspect of the power to interview and the matter postponed was a motion by Senator Durack to leave out sub-clause 10A (4). The question now is:

That proposed new sub-clause 10A (4) be left out.