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Wednesday, 14 August 1974
Page: 947

Senator GREENWOOD (Victoria) - I move:

At the end of sub-clause (2) add the following paragraph:

(h)   any other prescribed acts, things or provisions. '.

The purpose of the amendment is to endeavour to provide an easy means of meeting what we believe are some of the problems which are inherent in this type of legislation and for which we believe there should be a ready means of resolution. I must say I think that this is an unusual type of amendment for an Opposition to move. But at the same time we sense that it will help the administration of the legislation and that the Government will accept it. It provides an extra power and additional facility to government. This is why I say it is an unusual type of amendment for an Opposition to move. The reason for it is this: Sub-clause (2) of clause51 says:

In determining whether a contravention of a provision of this Part other than section 48 has been committed, regard shall not be had -

Then there are listed some 7 paragraphs. We have just had a discussion about the matters contained in paragraph (a). The attempt of the draftsman is to incorporate in those 7 paragraphs the matters which it is felt ought not to be taken into account in deciding, for example, whether there has been a contract, arrangement or understanding entered into in restraint of trade or whether there has been exclusive dealing or price discrimination and so on. The effort of the draftsman is comprehensive.

I am sure that every effort has been made to make sure that the matters which ought to be excused have been stated. But we believe that there will be a host of matters which practice will ensure will have to be brought before the AttorneyGeneral or the Commission with a view to having not an authorisation or a clearance but some change in the legislation- something which ought to be exculpatory. If the representations are persuasive the Attorney-General will be faced with the need to introduce legislation. Expert as this Government is in introducing legislation- and a lot of legislation- sometimes it does not find it easy to get the legislation dealt with as quickly or as expeditiously as it would like. Therefore a problem would exist. We suggest by this amendment that by regulation the Government can prescribe the acts, things or provisions to which regard will not be had in determining whether there has been a breach of these provisions. There is a parliamentary control which is capable of being exercised, because all regulations are capable of being disallowed. We suggest this amendment because we believe experience will show that there will be a need to take action of the character which I have mentioned, and it is a ready means of doing it. We invite the Government to accept the amendment.

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