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Thursday, 25 November 1999
Page: 12737

Mr WILLIAMS (Attorney-General) (5:56 PM) —I move:

That Senate amendments (3) to (12) and (15) be disagreed to.

The government is not prepared to accept the amendments made by the Senate to the Federal Magistrates Bill 1999 and to the Federal Magistrates (Consequential Amendments) Bill 1999 which were moved by the opposition. The opposition's amendments would only obstruct access to cheaper justice in the Federal Magistrates Service, make the service more complex and reduce its potential to cut the backlog of cases in the family law arena.

The bills have been carefully crafted to facilitate a more streamlined, less technical approach being taken to the conduct of litigation in the Federal Magistrates Service. The government sees it as vital that the integrity of the provisions of the bill be maintained to encourage the fulfilment of these goals. It is for these reasons that the government rejects the amendments to both bills moved by the opposition.