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Tuesday, 23 August 1983
Page: 91

Question No. 134

Mr Jacobi asked the Minister representing the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 12 May 1983:

(1) Will the Attorney-General consider the desirability and necessity of amending the definition of the phrase 'decision to which this Act applies' in section 3 of the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977, as amended , so that the relevant decisions may cover administrative decisions made by the Governor-General in Council, having regard to (a) the assumption at the time the Act was passed that the grounds on which the decisions of the Governor-General could be reviewed by a court of law were limited, (b) the reversal of that assumption by the recent decisions of the High Court in (i) Re Toohey; Ex parte Northern Land Council (1981) 56 ALJR 164 and (ii) F.A.I. Insurance Ltd v. Winneke (1982) 56 ALJR 388 and (c) the need to consider whether the considerable procedural benefits created by the Act should now apply to administrative decisions of the Governor-General in Council including, in particular, the right of a person to obtain reasons for a decision under section 13 of the Act.

(2) If so, will the Attorney-General seek advice from the Administrative Review Council on this matter.

Mr Lionel Bowen —The Attorney-General has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) and (2). Whether the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 should apply to decisions of the Governor-General is one of a number of important issues that have arisen in relation to the operation of the Act.

The Act is a complex one and it was envisaged from the outset that the Administrative Review Council would be asked to report from time to time on its operation.

In light of issues raised by recent litigation including the matter to which the honourable member refers, and information available on the usage of the Act, I have recently asked the Administrative Review Council to review the operation of the Act. I have indicated to the Council my wish that the Council's review be as wide-ranging as the Council considers necessary.

I would expect the Council to consider, in the course of its review of the Act, the matters raised in the honourable member's question.