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Tuesday, 10 December 2002
Page: 7602


Senator GREIG (6:26 PM) —Hindsight can be a wonderful thing. The insertion of a sunset clause will present an opportunity—it will make hindsight mandatory—for a parliamentary review three years hence of this controversial legislation which has caused considerable anxiety in sections of the community. A sunset clause of this nature will mean that the next federal government, be that a coalition or a Labor government, will have to completely review this legislation with a view to leaving it off the statutes altogether or reforming it in some way. If implemented, this three-year sunset clause will take us beyond the next election. In that context, I ask Senator Faulkner as the mover of the amendment if there is any historical precedent for a three-year sunset clause as opposed to, for example, two years or five years. Was the object of this amendment in part to take the legislation beyond the next federal election so that it would be a new parliament reviewing it in three years time, or is there some precedent for the specific time period of three years? We Democrats will certainly support a sunset clause, but I ask why is it a period of three years as opposed to some other time frame?