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Thursday, 26 March 1987
Page: 1377


Senator HARRADINE(12.19) —In response to the question that I posed to the Minister as to what head of power the Government relies upon for the effective implementation of this measure, the Minister indicated the foreign affairs power. I assume that he was referring to section 51 (xxix) of the Constitution which enables the Commonwealth Parliament to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Commonwealth in respect of external affairs. I ask the Minister: What part of the Convention imposes an obligation on the Commonwealth to undertake the measures that are proposed in this legislation? I am talking about obligations, not about what is said in the Convention as to the rights of individual states party to the Convention. I am sure the Minister will be aware of the reason why I am asking these questions, bearing in mind that any court, in its interpretation of legislation, will need means which will assist it to come to a decision or a judgment in respect of the matter before it. These means include a consideration of what is said, particularly by the Minister, during the debates and these are known as external aids for the interpretation of the law. I am sure that the Minister, having been forewarned, will now be armed with a response.