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Monday, 9 May 1994
Page: 447


Senator NEWMAN (5.19 p.m.) —Mr Chairman, I hear the minister's answer, but I would have thought that that was exactly an argument that the Australian Federal Police could make every time that they were required to get a warrant where there was no consent to enter. It does not address the basic issue of why the HIC should be treated differently from the police. Evidence can be disposed of if an alleged criminal gets wind of the fact that the police are going to apply for a search warrant to search his premises on any issue. I do not understand from the minister's answer why there should be a particular problem for disposal of evidence in the case of fraud against Medicare as compared with any other kind of alleged criminal activity. Evidence can be disposed of by anybody. We still do not give those powers to the police without some sort of supervision and fetter. That is all that we are proposing for the HIC here.