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Monday, 11 May 2015
Page: 2722

Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandDeputy Leader of the Government in the Senate, Vice-President of the Executive Council, Minister for Arts and Attorney-General) (13:18): This is not controversial. The government supports this amendment, and of course we support the independence of the tribunal. I do not know why Senator Wright raises an issue about this, because I am unaware of any suggestion that the AAT or the other merits review tribunals which will be amalgamated with it have ever had their independence compromised. It has never been suggested. Permitting members to be terminated for mental or physical incapacity only on an address by both houses of parliament is the established practice. It is a good practice in the view of the government. I note in passing the submissions of the Law Institute of Victoria and the Bar Association of Queensland, among others, who have commended this approach. This is an amendment that the government agrees to.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: The question is that amendment (1) on sheet 7696 be agreed to.

Question agreed to.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: We will now move to opposition amendment (2) on sheet 7673.