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Wednesday, 1 December 1965

Mr KILLEN (Moreton) .-I have a few comments on this clause. My first comment relates to the interpretative provisions in clauses 91 and following in the Bill. I wonder why it is that a new drafting technique is being developed. I say this with the greatest of respect to the professional officers of the Attorney-General's Department. I am a little puzzled as to the new technique in drafting and why these interpretative provisions are put at the back of the Bill. The result is that if one looks at the definitions clause one can be trapped by concluding that those are all the definitions required. It is only subsequently that one finds the interpretative provisions which have a very sharp relevance and one is then in trouble. I hope that some consideration can be given to having a definitions clause that contains all the relevant definitions. For example, the definition of " agreement" is to be found in clause 91. I submit that the definition of " agreement " should be found in the definitions clause.

My second comment on this clause concerns the new drafting technique of putting, for the purposes of debate in this place, too many principles in the one clause. That makes the clause difficult to debate. I instance clauses 37 and 50 and, subsequently, the review provisions in Division 3. It is difficult for honorable members, without trying the patience of the Chair and, to a very large extent, transgressing the Standing Orders, to cope adequately with the various principles that are involved.

My third comment is on what I believe is a singular omission from the Bill. " Competition " is nowhere defined in the Bill, yet the word is used in clause 37 and again in considering the public interest in relation to clause 50. By contrast with that we have a definition of " services " which would reach out and, in my submission, would include ultimately - or could include in a given set of circumstances - the proprietor of a squash court and the proprietor of a ten pin bowling alley. It could control the Elizabethan Theatre Trust, the Sydney Turf Club and the Victoria Racing Club because these all come under the general umbrella of - the provision of, or of the use or enjoyment of facilities for, amusement, entertainment, recreation or instruction;

I cited that instance to point out what I submit is a sheer absurdity, that whereas we can run to that form of extensive definition, we cannot run to even a compact definition of "competition". A few moments ago I walked down to the Clerk's table where I took the dictionary to get a definition of " competition ". I cannot recall the name of the dictionary, but the definition of " competition " given by it was, among other things - rivalry between persons for an object they both want.

Is that the competition in this Bill? Is it the act of competing? This still is rather elusive and leaves one up in the air. The definition continues - friendly strife.

Mr Whitlam - It is a 1936 dictionary.

Mr KILLEN - Be that as it may: I should like to know whether we accept the definition as " friendly strife " or, as it continues^ - making rival claims to superiority of a kind.

I submit that this is a tremendous subjective power which is given to the Trades Practices Tribunal. The Tribunal has to determine what is competition. I think it is a pity that, whereas we can find the wit and vigour to define a whole host of things in the definitions clause of the Bill, we have not found the sense of enterprise to set out to define " competition " because, in a very real sense, the meaning of " competition" will be at the base of many of the arguments that will attend.

Mr Haworth - What about " competitor "? Is that mentioned?

Mr KILLEN - It is not. I am indebted to my honorable friend for his interjection. If I may I shall point out to the AttorneyGeneral the difficulty that arises here. Let us consider competition dealing with floor coverings. Do we deal with linoleum as against carpets, linoleum as against vinyl tiles, linoleum as against rubber or what? They are competitors and are floor coverings vis-a-vis another type of floor covering but among themselves. There would also be competition among the competitors within the linoleum industry or the carpet industry. Is " competition " to be given a narrow, limited meaning or is it to be given a wide meaning? I regret intensely that the Government has not seen fit to include a definition of "competition" in the Bill. I venture to express the view that before too many months are over that will be a regret that the Government may itself be prepared to express.

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