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Thursday, 12 December 2002
Page: 7993

Senator LUDWIG (9:33 PM) —Given that New South Wales is your home state, you might have that at your fingertips.

Senator Coonan —I do not have it in my back pocket.

Senator LUDWIG —I am surprised your advisers do not have it, because it does have bearing on this. When you look at the amendment by Senator Murray, his argument is that a person under the age of 18, especially for the care and custody of the children, should not really be able to waive a right. Under two parts of your legislation your argument is that they would, (1), not be able to contract because they are a minor but, (2), that it would not apply in any event. But of course you may find that there is a gap in that. That is the part I am trying to ask the minister to explore a little more widely. If a person is a minor, but sufficiently capable to contract, then they are still a minor, and you are taking away their rights. That is the way I see it. That might seem a little more than what a person would expect you to do in these instances.