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Wednesday, 14 August 1974
Page: 895

Senator GREENWOOD (Victoria) - The Opposition has an amendment to move to this clause. This clause, of course, indicates when the Bill is to come into operation and it has a number of provisions indicating that various clauses in the Bill are to come into operation at different times. Therefore, it is a very significant clause. But in moving the amendment proposed I must say that we in the Opposition respond to the overtures made by the AttorneyGeneral (Senator Murphy). We want to look at this Bill constructively with a view to making it a Bill which will work as well as its general intent can permit in the interests of regulating trade practices in the interests of the consumer and in the interests of a competitive economy.

In the second reading debate we said why we would have preferred a different type of Bill altogether and why we regret this particular approach. However, we are now considering the Bill in the Committee stages and the Senate has decided that this is the approach which should be adopted. Therefore, we will look at the approach with a view to improving those parts of the Bill which we think can stand improvement. Whether our views will be the views of the Senate as a whole I am unable to say. But certainly the amendments we are proposing will be amendments which we have argued and advocated the considerations of which initially prompted us to move amendments. I regret that in the earlier stages Senator Hall stated that he just could not see anything of merit in the amendments, although, as he said in his speech, he had not even seen the amendments. We regret that he took that view. I hope that Senator Hall will at least hear what is argued on behalf of the proponents of the amendments with a view to retreating from the position which he adopted in the second reading debate. Without having seen any of the amendments which we propose to move he indicated that he felt the Bill was a good Bill and he could not see, apart from one or two areas, where any amendment was necessary. I regret, however, that Senator Murphy has spoken about Party factionalism and filibustering having occurred. The role of an Opposition is surely to ensure that legislation -

Senator Murphy - That is a second reading speech. You have already had three.

Senator GREENWOOD -Senator Murphy makes comments and assumes that no one ought be allowed to reply to them. There is no question that when there is a Bill of this character with completely new concepts time to consider must be given not only to an Opposition but to many people throughout the community who are affected by it. The suggestion of improper motives, that in some way the Opposition was simply attempting to filibuster this Bill, is completely unwarranted and untrue. All we have been seeking is a proper understanding of the Bill. We were prepared to deal with it in the early part of this year. In the intervening period there has been a wide opportunity for people to look at it and make their submissions. The Opposition has received many submissions from many organisations expressing concern about many provisions of the Bill. How that squares with what Senator Murphy has said as a general indication of support for the Bill, I am unable to say.

Senator Poyser - I rise on a point of order. I understand that we are debating this Bill clause by clause except where no amendments are to be put. I suggest that the former Attorney-General should confine his remarks to the clause under discussion and that he should not go into another second reading speech.

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