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Thursday, 24 November 1927

Senator NEEDHAM (Western Australia) . - The purpose of this bill is to give greater protection to life and property in defence areas, or in areas which may in the future be proclaimed as defence areas. Firearms are dangerous weapons, and we should do all in our power to regulate their use in order to minimize risk to life and property. To that provision in the bill no honorable senator will offer any objection. I desire, however, to draw attention to one aspect of it which appears to be somewhat drastic. I refer to sub-clause 4 of proposed section 89a, which provides that a person who commits an offence may be apprehended by " any " member of the Defence Force. Among the persons employed by the Defence Department are young men and women of, say, eighteen years of age. Will they have the power to arrest offenders? In committee the Minister may be able to explain the reason for the wording used. Apart from that objection, I see nothing in the bill -to which exception can be taken.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In committee:

Clauses 1 and 2 agreed to.

Clause 3 (Discharging firearms on or over Commonwealth land).

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