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Wednesday, 25 February 1987
Page: 567

Senator ARCHER(10.08) —by leave-I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have my second reading speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows-

The purpose of this Bill is to extend the life of the National Crime Authority by repealing section 63 of the National Crime Authority Act 1985 which provided for the termination of the life of the Authority on 30 June 1989.

The urgent need for the legislation is to ensure the continuity of the work of the Authority and to be able to offer reasonable terms of engagement to officers joining the Authority and to provide security to those already employed and who have of necessity to consider their positions beyond 30 June 1989.

Mr Bingham's term expires in 10 months and the question must be raised as to who would take such a senior position when there is no undertaking of employment beyond 18 months. In the case of Mr Justice Stewart, the Chairman of the Authority, his term expires on 30 June 1988, leaving only 12 months before the date on which the life of the Authority is due to expire.

There are many other changes due to be made in the operation of the Authority, but extending the life and introducing some stability to it is so essential that this Bill has been introduced.

The Government, as well as the Opposition, must be seen to have a strong commitment to its attack on organised crime. This is not a party political issue and I seek the support of the Government and other senators to pass this legislation and show their commitment to the Authority and attacking organised crime.

Debate (on motion by Senator Robertson) adjourned.