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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Page: 4385

Senator McKIM (Tasmania) (16:42): Thanks, Minister. Once again, I thank you for your response. You've stepped us through that, and your response, I think, is helpful for the Senate's understanding, because you've placed clearly on the record the government's intention behind this legislation.

I will offer, I guess, a comment, if I may. Even though you've done that, and placed the intent on the record, I think an ordinary-English-language reading of this provision does provide for charges to be laid against a person or a group of people in the circumstances that I've outlined. As to how the courts might rule on that, obviously we'd have to wait and see. Again, obviously, it would pivot on the individual circumstances of the case, of course, as cases like this always do in our judicial system. So, even though you've placed the government's intent on the record, I'm not convinced that the way this section is drafted actually does reflect that intent, and I maintain my view that this section, as drafted, at least potentially could catch actions such as the one that I've outlined.