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Wednesday, 27 November 1974
Page: 2870


Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral) - Perhaps it is fair to the Committee of the Whole and to those who might be listening to the broadcast of this debate to say that it should be understood that this Bill was prepared, introduced into this chamber, circulated among all honourable senators and available to all honourable senators. The clauses of the Bill were referred to a Committee of the Senate- the Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs. That Committee reported in depth on the clauses of the Bill.


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - After 2 months' consideration.


Senator MURPHY -Yes. It came forward with certain recommendations that there be changes in some clauses of the Bill. Those recommendations were made available to all members of Parliament. Any person who had an interest in this Bill had an opportunity to study the clauses. The amendments which I have now moved are simply amendments seeking to carry out the recommendations of the Committee. The fact that I was going to move these amendments was made known to every member of this chamber some time ago in a printed document which set out the original clauses and the proposed amendments. These are simply amendments of a technical nature. There is no need to go into them. Every honourable senator has had an opportunity to consider them and, if he wanted to do so because he thought there was something wrong with them, to object to them or to ascertain what they are all about. It is not right and it is not fair to make the observation that in some way something is being pushed through. These amendments should, of course, go through without any objection at all because they have been given full consideration by the Standing Committee, by myself and by my officers. They have been circulated. It has been made known that I intended to move them because I accepted what the Committee put forward. Now we are being subjected to this sort of thing as if in some way something is being rushed or pushed through the Senate. I have moved them and I think that they ought to be accepted by the Committee.

Amendments agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 41.

(3)   If a party fails to attend a conference in respect of which an order has been made under sub-section ( 1 ), it is the duty of the welfare officer to report the failure to the court but the failure does not constitute a contempt of the court.

(4)   The court may adjourn any proceedings referred to in sub-section ( 1 ) until a report has been obtained from a welfare officer on such matters relevant to the proceedings as the court considers desirable, and may receive the report in evidence.

(5)   Subject to sub-section (4), evidence of anything said or of any admission made at a conference that takes place in pursuance of an order made under this section is not admissible in any court (whether exercising federal jurisdiction or not) or in proceedings before a person authorized by a law of Australia or of a State or Territory, or by consent of parties, to hear evidence.







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