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Wednesday, 24 October 1973
Page: 1393

Senator GREENWOOD - I ask the AttorneyGeneral a supplementary question on the answer which has just been given. I do not know whether he has the information there, but I ask: On what grounds was the Governor-General advised to remit fines when this has such a discriminating impact upon those who were fined and are not able to get money repaid and those who were fined and do get it repaid?

Senator MURPHY - The fines were waived and all proceedings initiated after 2 December were discontinued. I am using that expression in the broad sense. So no further proceedings were taken against persons and no fines were required to be paid. I think that the logic of it was that persons who had served sentences or part of sentences before 2 December could not have anything done about the time that they had served. Probably, on that rationale fines which had been paid were not repaid. But I think the honourable senator raises a question that has some soundness. If those who had not paid fines by 2 December should have their fines waived- I am speaking again in the non-technical sense- and those who had paid fines after 2 December should be repaid, as the honourable senator suggests there is no reason why there should be any line drawn against those who paid before 2 December. I will look into the matter to see whether it is consistent with the Government's policy that those who paid fines prior to 2 December should also be repaid. I thank the honourable senator for his suggestion.

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