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Wednesday, 14 August 1974
Page: 948

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral) - There is a danger in such a paragraph. The danger is that all sorts of pressures can be applied in order to exempt by regulation various kinds of conduct. There is a general belief that the laws against restrictive practices are good but almost everyone who is engaged in them says: 'They should not apply to me. ' The pressures would be very great if we had exemptions from these provisions. There is no doubt that there are powerful pressure groups in this community. This Government would be able to resist the pressure but a Liberal-Country Party government would not. In the far distant day when there may be a change of government one easy way to destroy the effectiveness of this legislation would be to use such a clause. I suppose a Senate majority of the opposite persuasion to the Government might be able to use the disallowance provision but there are sometimes ways of introducing regulations which may effectively escape the disallowance.

Senator Greenwoodputs forward the suggestion that we may have overlooked something. It may appear that something has been overlooked. One thought has occurred to me in relation to this matter. It may be that some such provision could be justified if it were to operate for a short period. Let us suppose that this legislation is passed and a problem emerges during the teething stages of the enactment. It may be that such a regulation could be useful in such an event. But I do not think it would be good to allow for something which really went to the heart of the whole matter and stayed there indefinitely. I think that would be unsatisfactory. One could easily see that very great pressures would be applied. The Government resists the proposal as it stands. But, if I might, I will give consideration overnight as to whether there ought to be some such provision with a limitation of time on it. I do not know whether we could deal with it on this basis. I do not wish to leave incomplete the consideration of too many of these clauses, but may I suggest that if that matter is left overnight I will give consideration to it. I move:

That the consideration of clause 5 1 and of the amendment moved thereto be postponed.

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