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Monday, 11 May 2015
Page: 2707

Senator JACINTA COLLINS (Victoria) (13:06): As indicated by Senator Wright, this amendment would require the Attorney-General to order an independent review of the operation of the AAT two years after the bill commences. We thank the Greens for what we think is a sensible amendment. This is a complex piece of legislation. We are dealing with four large bodies; their consolidation can be expected to involve some teething issues. It will be prudent for a review to be conducted after an appropriate time to ensure that the amalgamation is proceeding as intended and that the objectives of the legislation are being achieved.

I note that the amendment does not stipulate who should conduct the review. We would respectfully suggest to the Attorney-General that the appropriate body would be the Administrative Review Council. This organisation, with a long and distinguished background in overseeing Commonwealth administrative law, is well equipped to conduct the proposed review. I notice—I think I indicated it in my contribution to the second reading debate—that this amalgamation proposal, which has a very long history indeed, was first seriously proposed by the ARC in a 1995 report commissioned by the Keating government.