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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Page: 8590

Senator CONROY (VictoriaMinister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity) (11:02): This is obviously an issue where, because we are stepping into a new jurisdiction, the culture of the ACNC organisation and commissioner is vital. The government's view is that it is vital that the commissioner follow through with the education and training aspect long before any other action is needed. We would be concerned if the first step was enforcement action. We think this would lead to a culture that you are describing. So we would only envisage that these powers would be needed in the most extreme examples of misbehaviour. I think we are right to be cautious and we are right to ask these questions as the culture of the agency is very important, but we do not believe that needs to be the first step; it needs to be the last resort in the most extreme circumstances.