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Wednesday, 6 June 1984
Page: 2662

Senator DURACK(6.27) —I am indebted to the Attorney-General (Senator Gareth Evans) for speaking on behalf of the Opposition as well as the Government in this matter. I know that he is wanting to hasten things. I formally say that the Opposition supports the amendment by the Australian Democrats which is in line, I understand, with the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs. I think that the amendment proposes a power that is quite reasonable. It is not a power as such that the National Crime Authority has to exercise. The power is exercised in fact by a judge. There could well be situations in which existing laws may not just be adequate. The Bartons case is perhaps a case in point because they had two passports. In such a circumstance the seizing of a passport would not prevent a person from travelling. Maybe the issuing of a summons to appear is one way of getting around this problem. In light of the fact that there are existing powers of doing this indirectly, I just do not see why the Authority should not have the power to apply to do it directly. I cannot see how this power will be abused in view of the fact that an order has to be made by a judge . For those reasons the Opposition supports the Australian Democrats' amendment.