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Thursday, 6 December 1973
Page: 2570


Senator GREENWOOD (Victoria) - I think I should raise the point that the provisions as drafted- which are sought to be amended by Senator Laucke's amendments- are mandatory in a way that can work a tremendous injustice. Under proposed new section 13c, the court has no discretion, as the provision states that the court shall order the forfeiture to Australia of the equipment or the fish that may be on the seized boat. Clause 12, which inserts proposed new section 13d, states that a foreign boat is forfeited, and again there is no discretion. The attitude of the Opposition is that a discretion should be vested in the court. A harsh penalty is provided in this legislation; we understand it has one or two parallels in other parts of the world, but generally similar provisions are not to be found in the legislation of other countries. Having heard what the Minister has said, I am not sure that he really appreciates that what we seek to establish is that it shall be in the court's discretion whether the boat or other equipment should be forfeited. This provision should not be mandatory, without any exception whatever being provided for.







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