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Wednesday, 4 May 1994
Page: 158


Senator NEWMAN (10.47 a.m.) —May I make it quite clear that the opposition will be supporting the government's amendments in relation to the powers that HIC investigating authorised officers will have when they enter a premises. But we do that on the basis, particularly, of the need for control. The obtaining of a search warrant does not prevent those activities taking place, but it does make sure that they take place in a manner which is fair to all parties and that there is some scrutiny by the legal system of who will do what and why.

  I do not believe that is gutting the system—it is certainly not trying to stop effective prosecution of fraud—but it provides the balance we are talking about. It is not stopping people having the powers; it is making sure that the use of the powers is properly scrutinised before they are allowed to take place. That, to me, is a reasonable position that the Senate can support. We all talk about balance; the requirement to have a search warrant gives that balance.