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Thursday, 12 December 2002
Page: 7993

Senator COONAN (Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer) (9:30 PM) —This is a very brief comment, because I have addressed some earlier comments to this issue. The New South Wales legislation referred to relates to both contract law and the common law of negligence. As a result, the New South Wales legislation needed to identify minors and their special circumstances. The second point I make is one that I made a little earlier: the provisions in this bill do concern the rights of consumers to sue for breach of a term implied in contracts that the service will be supplied with due care and skill. Any legal proceedings based on a cause of action for breach of contract involving minors and intellectually disabled persons will still allow them to have the ordinary protections that you would expect and, related, their capacity to contract. So for those reasons the government is not attracted to the argument.