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nature of the changes which are to be made to rape legisla­ tion in the Australian Capital Territory? When will the new legislation be ready for the Parliament's consideration?

SENATOR DURACK - Following the report of the Royal

Commission on Human Relations an interdepartmental working party was set up to report to me concerning the

recommendations of the· royal commission in relation to reform of rape laws as they apply to the Australian Capital Territory, that being the area with which the Government was

concerned. I have had a report from the working party and very lengthy discussions with my departmental officers in relation to this matter. As a result of those discussions instructions were given to prepare a Bill for a draft

ordinance amending the substantive law. I am informed that the drafting instructions have been delivered and that the draft of the Bill has now been received. The matter of the actual draft will be discussed further. When I am satisfied with it, it will be submitted to the House of Assembly for

its consideration.

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24 October 1979 Page 1679


SENATOR DOUGLAS MCCLELLAND - Has the Attorney-General seen a

report of remarks attributed to the Chief Justice of the High Court, Sir Garfield Barwick, who apparently has strongly criticised the lack of availability to the public of texts of government regulations? Do the unavailability of

government regulations and the remarks of the Chief Justice

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concern the Attorney-General in any way? If so, will he discuss the matter with his colleague the Minister for Administrative Services, who is the Minister in charge of the Australian Government Publishing Service, to see that

action is taken to overcome the problem and to ensure that copies of government regulations are made available for purchase by the public at all Australian Government


SENATOR DURACK - I have seen a newspaper report of remarks made by the Chief Justice, Sir Garfield Barwick, when delivering a judgment in the High Court, I think yesterday or the day before, concerning the question whether copies of

regulations were available at a place notified, at the time such regulations were made. I think that what the Chief Justice said was of great importance. I agree with him concerning the objective which should be achieved in making

copies of regulations available. However, in the practical world, it is not always possible to meet the ideal standards and, regretfully, regulations do go out of print. In the

case in question, I think it was alleged that copies of regulations were not available. That occasionally happens as well. The honourable senator might remember that recently in this Parliament an amendment was made to the effect that, if

copies of regulations are not available when the regulations are made, the Minister for Administrative Services is obliged to make a statement ot that effect to the

Parliament. It was hoped that, by that means, more pressure would be put on the Government to make sure that copies of regulations were available to avoid having to make such a statement.

My Department is engaged in a program which is the

subject of a statement that I made in the Senate several

months ago as a result of a report of the Joint Committee on Publications of this Parliament. We are seeking to engage in

a more speedy updating and reprinting of both Acts and

regulations and in making available annual volumes of

statutory rules, all of which have got very far behind in

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recent years. We are making quite a lot of progress with that work and also with the updating and reprinting of large

numbers of regulations under the various Acts of Parliament. All I can say is that I agree with the remarks which the Chief Justice has made and that we are doing our best and will continue to do our best to meet the ideal requirements which he mentioned. I have not had any recent discussions in

relation to these matters with the Minister for Adminis­ trative Services. I will draw his attention to the remarks which Sir Garfield has made.

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Page 1684 - 1685


SENATOR MULVIHILL - I direct a question to Senator Durack as

Attorney-General and as Minister representing the Minister for Industrial Relations. Do I detect an acute feeling of remorse in his make-up today in view of the role he had to play at 3 a.m. last Friday in the debate on the punitive

industrial legislation and in view of the fact that we have had no report whatsoever on the protracted talks with Mr Hills about justice for the refinery workers, who suffer an overlapping of Federal and State awards? Those talks have

gone on for weeks and weeks.

SENATOR DURACK - I regret to say that I have no feelings of remorse about any role I played in the Senate last Thursday or Friday morning. I am sure that the Senate as a whole was very relieved to have that matter disposed of, even though

it was in the early hours of the morning. The serious aspect of Senator Mulvihill1s question related to the problem of