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Tuesday, 28 June 1994
Page: 2131

Senator BOLKUS (Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (8.18 p.m.) —There is a particular problem with this one that was not present with the other one. I think amendments Nos 1 and 2 give fair protection. This particular clause allows for anyone to be present and to assist and any person being then able to address the panel. If one really wants a monkey's feast then I suppose that is what one adopts.

  This particular provision takes the pre-existing law a lot further. The law, as it now stands, allows for representation by legal representatives. But Senator Vanstone's amendment No. 3 allows anybody to address, basically, any matter on which that person is an expert. So we really have a beggar's feast here. I do not know what the Greens (WA) and Senator Harradine intend to do with this provision but I would like them to think seriously before they support it.