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Tuesday, 10 August 2004
Page: 26028

Senator COONAN (Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts) (4:33 PM) —The answer to Senator Brown's question, as I understand the way in which it was framed, is that it would only be—as Senator Brown has pointed out—`except in very rare circumstances, the non-discriminatory regulatory actions by a party that are designed and applied to achieve public welfare objectives such as the protection of public health, safety and the environment do not constitute indirect expropriations'. Whilst you can never rule out and, I suppose, exhaustively list what may constitute indirect expropriations, what is being referred to here are matters such as the protection of public health, safety and the environment. Clearly the text provides that they do not constitute indirect expropriations. If I have some additional advice as to what other rare circumstances might present themselves which need to be advanced in this debate, I will obviously get that advice. But the text seems pretty clear on its face that matters that are necessary to achieve legitimate public welfare objectives would not constitute an indirect expropriation.