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Tuesday, 18 April 1961

Sir GARFIELD BARWICK (Parramatta) (Attorney-General) . - by leave - As honorable members know, I have had under consideration for some time the report of the Copyright Law Review Committee. Before the Government makes any decisions on the report, an opportunity is being given to members of the public to make comments and submissions regarding the recommendations contained in the report.

The report evidences on its face the careful and thoughtful work of all the members of the committee, to whom our thanks are due for their thorough investigation and consideration of a difficult field oflaw, and one which has so many more practical applications than we are apt to realize. I mention this aspect of the matter not only for the purpose of publicly recognizing the value of the work of the committee, but also to emphasize that, while the Government still has to consider the report and I have to decide what advice I will give to Cabinet on the various recommendations of the committee, I do not propose to embark on anything like a ministerial re-hearing of all the submissions made to the committee.

However, it is proper that some opportunity should be given to the public, and to the interests most affected by the issues raised in the report, to make representations to me. Some have already done so. I ask that any submissions should be made to my department by 31st May if possible. Persons making submissions will naturally do so in the form that they think best. It would help me considerably, however, if submissions did not reiterate information or arguments put to the committee. I shall have that material already before me, and will take it into account in considering each of the committee's recommendations.

I have arranged that every member of Parliament shall receive this week a copy of the report. If after members have had an opportunity to consider the report it appears that a debate is desirable, I will arrange for the formal tabling of the report and for the moving of a proper motion to enable the debate to take place.

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