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Thursday, 12 December 2002
Page: 8038


Senator HARRIS (11:55 PM) —I rise to indicate that, in light of the amendment that has gone through on the bill which adds balance by bringing the period back from 12 months to six months, One Nation will not be supporting the opposition to schedule 2. To put the $50 application fee in context: $50 is less than the cost of what we in the north would refer to as two `slabs'—in other words, two cartons of beer. I do not believe that that amount would create a substantive disincentive for a person who felt that they had been unjustly terminated. Clause 170CEAA(8) of page 12 of the bill refers to the refund of a fee if the application is discontinued in certain circumstances. It sets out quite clearly that this refund applies if the application is discontinued at least two days before the date specified for consideration. However, it is not clearly expressed whether the applicant is the beneficiary of that refund in the situation when the applicant withdraws the application or whether the refund only applies when the discontinuance is made by the respondent— although, that would be difficult to implement. I am seeking clarification from the minister that it is the actual applicant who is the beneficiary of the repayment of that fee.