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Monday, 9 May 1994
Page: 449

Senator CROWLEY (Minister for Family Services) (5.30 p.m.) —It presumes some very interesting things. I would have to ask Senator Harradine why he would think it could just arbitrarily be set at `within 12 months time'. Is that a presumption on his part that because the Health Insurance Commission may be ready to act on a case or some cases currently before it, he expects all fraud would be out of the system within 12 months? I am not sure whether that is his intention in proposing this amendment. He might have to explain to me why he is not effectively sunsetting these powers for 12 months.

  By asking that Senator Newman's amendment then apply begs the question: under what conditions ought it to come in; just because a year has passed or because something else happens—for example, if the cases brought by the Health Insurance Commission have seen no effective outcome or have created uproar, with appeals by people complaining about invasion of their civil liberties? Could Senator Harradine explain to me why he sees this as not just a variation of these powers on a sunset clause. If that were the case, why not let it run for two years? If it is not, does he expect within 12 months that the amendment moved by Senator Newman could cut in with no triggering evidence or data?