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Tuesday, 10 December 2002
Page: 7616


Senator BOLKUS (8:40 PM) —I think the Minister for Justice and Customs is trying to gloss over a particular problem that he might be confronted with here. The legislation does not say that there has to be physical presence. There has to be delivery but, as in so many areas of federal jurisdiction, that delivery can be by fax, by email—by delivery of one sort or another. I take Senator Faulkner's first point, particularly in the context of Mr Richardson's advice, that over the last 12 months—which you have got to say was a pretty hectic year for potential terrorist activities—these provisions would have been used only two or three times. I think that is the fundamental point. Minister, the other point is that, if you are trying to argue that there are no judges, it has never been beyond the capacity of this government or others to find retired judges to conduct work for them across the country. The clause you just read out in no way demands that there need be physical presence. Can I put it to you and to your advisers that they know it and they should be informing you to that effect.