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Tuesday, 5 June 1984
Page: 2535

Senator MISSEN(8.13) —I support the Opposition amendment and I should like to comment now instead of later on the matters to which Senator Chipp referred. I regard these matters as being very much tied up together. What is now happening is that the Government has a proposal that is rigid and deals with a number of offences. As Senator Chipp said, that proposal does not include an adequate description; the Opposition amendment sets out examples, not a defined group, and points to what are, and what were in the previous Act passed by this Parliament, the essential features of organised crime in the community. It points to the general way in which an offence ordinarily involves two or more offenders; which ordinarily involves the use of sophisticated methods and techniques; or an offence that is committed, or is of a kind ordinarily committed, in conjunction with other offences of a like kind. The amendment uses the various forms of description but does not bind the National Crime Authority.

I suggest that the amendment to be moved by Senator Chipp is a provision of considerable vagueness. It may apply to a situation in which there is a great deal of use of SP bookmaking, where money is being laundered and where that is the only offence. Senator Chipp said that it would apply provided that one suspects there is some other offence which comes within the definition and which carries a penalty of three years. He suggested that in that case all would be well. However, if all is not well, a great number of offences will be excluded from the ambit of the Authority. No doubt this is the intention of some of the people who want to stick with this limited definition-in other words, that there will not be investigation into these types of offences. I suggest that not only is the variation of the three-year penalty rule inadequate but that the whole general concept of the Opposition amendment is much more sound. It is unwise to lay down offences and to suspect that those are the only matters to come within the ambit of the Authority. I strongly support the Opposition amendment.