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Friday, 4 November 1921

Senator DE LARGIE (Western Australia) . - To have two sets of offences is an excellent idea, but we should make the question clear, irrespective of whether they are major or minor offences. It would be absurd if the Bill did not provide for trivial offences to be dealt with by the permanent head of the Department. Therefore the clause, so far as it relates to minor offences, should be adopted. Offences which are dealt with in paragraph a of sub-clause 3 would be of such a serious nature that the officer charged would probably be deemed not fit to continue in 'the performance of his duty, and would be suspended until the charge had been investigated.

Senator Foster - Suppose an officer were charged and suspended on what appeared, on the face of it, to be a major offence. Upon appeal the Board might declare that the offence was not one punishable with a fine of £6, and might fine him only ls. The mere fact that he had been charged on a major offence would leave a black mark against his record.

Senator DE LARGIE - I do not see how that position could be met until the merits of any particular case had been dealt with by the Board.

Senator Foster - We could provide by regulation that a nominal fine should place what might be regarded as a major charge in the category of a minor offence.

Senator DE LARGIE - I think that is already provided for. The maximum fine is fixed at £5, but there no minimum is stated. Therfore a a fine may be only a few shillings.

Senator Russell - I think . the position will be met by a proviso in paragraph } of clause 96, to the effect that nothing in the regulations shall require the keeping of a record when the fine is less than 5s.

Amendment agreed to.

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