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Thursday, 30 June 1994
Page: 2503

Senator COLSTON (5.42 p.m.) —by leave—I move:

  (1)That, if the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances, before the next meeting of the Senate, notifies the President in writing that the Committee wishes to withdraw the notice of motion for the disallowance of the Industrial Relations Court Rules, as contained in Statutory Rules 1994 No. 110, the notice of motion shall then be taken to have been withdrawn, unless another senator has before that time indicated to the President in writing that that senator requires that the notice of motion remain on the Notice Paper until the Senate next meets.

  (2)The President shall notify each senator and the relevant minister if the notice of motion is withdrawn pursuant to paragraph (1).

On Tuesday of this week on behalf of the Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances I gave notice of a motion of disallowance of the Industrial Relations Court rules as contained in statutory rules 1994 No. 110. The committee gave this notice because it was concerned about the validity of the rules which may have breached the procedural safeguards of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901. Subsequently, the committee has received undertakings from the Acting Chief Justice of the Industrial Relations Court and has held discussions with officers of the Attorney-General's Department. The substance of the undertakings was that the rules would be remade as soon as possible to place their future validity beyond doubt, while allowing the chief justice and the minister to advise the committee about their present validity.

  To remake rules it will be necessary to remove the existing notice of disallowance because under section 48B of the Acts Interpretation Act instruments such as rules cannot be remade while the subject of such a notice. The committee, however, conscious of its responsibility to the Senate, considers it should not withdraw its motion of disallowance at this stage. Nevertheless, in the interests of the orderly administration of justice, the committee will be prepared to withdraw the motion as long as the chief justice and the relevant minister satisfy its concerns about the present validity.

  The purpose of the present motion is to allow the committee to remove the notice of motion of disallowance before the Senate meets again in seven weeks time, if the committee considers that it is appropriate to do so. If the committee does remove the notice, this will enable the rules to be remade some weeks earlier than would otherwise be possible, thereby allowing the rules to operate with unambiguous validity.