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Tuesday, 16 September 2008
Page: 11

Senator XENOPHON (1:48 PM) —I requested these things of the government, firstly, in relation to changing the jurisdiction, allowing the section 46 case to be brought in the Magistrates Court: what plans were there on the part of the government to provide assistance or resources to small businesses to bring such cases? The second issue relates to the amendment in my name that I will be moving. The ACCC is precluded from bringing an action in the Federal Magistrates Court. That is something that does concern me. I do not understand why that is the case given that they can bring actions in the Federal Court and given how expensive these actions are, as Senator Brandis has pointed out.

Thirdly, a matter for the minister to consider: there is the Semple review on the jurisdiction of federal courts, including the Magistrates Court, which I understand has not yet been released. I understand that there is some speculation that the Magistrates Court may well be amalgamated or turned into another entity in the not-too-distant future. Can the government provide us with details on that, because what we are doing here then becomes quite academic in the context of the Federal Magistrates Court?