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Monday, 9 May 1994
Page: 448

Senator NEWMAN (5.24 p.m.) The Minister is perfectly happy to allow these officials to go on to premises, and look at what is on a desk, or a tape, or other storage device in the premises, and copy it. I think the removing of the device has been withdrawn, is that so?

Senator Crowley —Yes.

Senator NEWMAN —They are allowed to photograph anything, to take samples of anything on the premises, to take extracts from or make copies of any document, book or record—that is enough to be going on with. The minister is prepared to allow these officials to do those sorts of things without any fetter; whereas most of us do not allow the police to do that. I cannot find that the minister has given any indication as to why there should be no control over them at all. We are not talking about whether they should have the power to do those things, but whether it should be in certain constrained circumstances. I do not believe that the minister has addressed that to my satisfaction.