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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4626

Dr Klugman (PROSPECT, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

(1)   Does regulation 8 of the Banking (Foreign Exchange) Regulations provide that a person shall not, except wilh the authority of the Reserve Bank of Australia, enter into any contract or agreement with a person resident outside Australia for the performance of any service.

(2)   If so, is one of the effects of these regula tions and the Banking Act 1959, that certain migrants or foreign visitors of this country, other than from the sterling 'area, could not instruct a solicitor to act for them without the' authority of the Reserve Bank.

(3)   in view of the possibility in cases of urgency, such as deportation, where this authority may not be obtained in time or at all,, will he consider appropriate amendments to the Regulations to exempt legal services.

Mr Snedden - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Amongst other things, regulation 8(1) of the Banking (Foreign Exchange) Regulations provides that a person shall not, without the authority of the Reserve Bank, enter into any contract or agreement (not being a contract or agreement for the purchase of goods) so that a right to the performance of any service, whether in Australia or elsewhere, is created in favour of a person resident out nf Australia. However, under regulation 38 of the Reserve Bank has, subject to any directions of the Treasurer, powers to grant exemptions from the regulations. The Bank has exempted transactions, coming within regulation 8 (1), with persons resident in the Sterling Area (excluding Hong Kong).

(2)   it would not be possible to reply to this part of the question without expressing a legal opinion. I mention for the information of the honourable member that the question of the effects of regulation 8 is raised in legal proceedings initiated in the Supreme Court of Western Australia and currently before the High Court.

(3)   Consideration will be given to the question of exempting legal services after the outcome of the legal proceedings referred to in (2) above is known.

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