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Thursday, 12 December 2002
Page: 7865

Senator ELLISON (Minister for Justice and Customs) (12:26 PM) —I think the basic problem we have is that the proposal by the opposition is unconstitutional. We say that you merely have to look at the parliamentary joint committee, as I said, when it looked at this situation. It said that, with regard to the federal magistrates, there was a problem. We say that, if you want to put in current serving judges in a state or territory, you are running into the same problem. We think that you do not need to look at numbers because you have asked how many—

Senator Faulkner —Don't give up your day job.

Senator ELLISON —We are saying it is unconstitutional. Look at the parliamentary joint committee.

Senator Faulkner —Go and get some advice.

Senator ELLISON —We are relying on the parliamentary joint committee as well. I might add that we have had advice on this in any event, but that is the government's firm position.