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Friday, 4 November 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) .- I have listened carefully to the explanation given by Senator de Largie of the true meaning of the clause. Honorable senators ought to be grateful to him for having discovered the true meaning, and for having explained it to the Committee. He has shown us that we have been somewhat misled, perhaps by the Minister (Senator Russell), regarding the true intention of the clause. The clause clearly shows that in regard to minor offences for which the fine does not exceed 5s. there is absolutely no appeal; but when we come to the major offences, for which a fine not exceeding £5 may be imposed, the officer may appeal to the chief officer, but he must lodge the appeal within forty-eight hours. For- other penalties imposed for major offences it is provided that an appeal may be made " as prescribed." That means that a regulation will be made prescribing the form of appeal and stating" the period of time that will be allowed for lodging it.

Senator Russell - The regulation will relate mostly to the time allowed.

Senator PAYNE - I will confine my remarks to the fining of an officer a sum not exceeding £5, in connexion, with which he has the right of appeal to the chief officer. I do not think that a period of forty-eight hours is sufficient time to allow for lodging the appeal. When Senator Pratten was speaking some time ago regarding the advisability of extending that period the Minister said. "This is only for minor offences for which the fine cannot be more than 5s. Surely forty-eight hours is ample time to allow in such cases for an officer to. appeal." We have discovered now that the- stipulation, relates not only to minor offences, but also to major offences.

Senator Russell - I have made a note of the point that has been raised regarding the £5 fine. I think the figure is too high. It is a serious thing for an officer to be fined £5.

Senator PAYNE - I am going to move in that direction. * I think Senator Pratten will agree with me that the time allowed for an appeal for major offences should be doubled at least. A week would be little enough time.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I have an amendment to move to sub-clause 2. I suggest that my honorable friend should allow me to move that before he moves the amendment which he has suggested.

Senator PAYNE - I am speaking now in regard to sub-clause 2. It deals with appeals against fines for major offences.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - An extension of time for lodging appeals against fines for major offences is much more important than for the minor offences.

Senator PAYNE - There is no appeal against a fine for a minor offence.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Except in the case of a fine imposed otherwise than by the chief officer.

Senator PAYNE - If the honorable senator has an amendment to move to sub-clause 2, I will not move my amendment at present.

Senator de Largie - The clause is misleading as it is worded.

Senator PAYNE - I congratulate the honorable senator on being the only one who read the clause carefully.

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