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Thursday, 15 August 1974
Page: 991

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral) - The Government will oppose the amendment, as I have indicated before. We have said that we will go as far as we can, but in this instance we think it is not right that a corporation should be relieved in this manner. If corporations have acted in contravention of the Part and have become liable to damages to some person, they should not be relieved from liability for those damages. We propose that persons other than bodies corporate should be entitled to relief to the extent set out in the amendment which has been circulated on behalf of the Government. I should say that it is with some diffidence that we go this far. It is in the direction of trying to get some acceptance of this measure. I am not saying that it is going to destroy the efficacy of the Bill, but I must admit that it is with some degree of doubt that we have gone as far as we have. We certainly think that we should not go so far as the Opposition is contending.

The Government's proposal is numbered (5) in the list of amendments circulated on its behalf. We propose that relief should not extend beyond the individuals who might be concerned, that is, officers of corporations. But we do not say that a corporation which has been set up to engage in industry and commerce and which does something that is in contravention of the Bill or forbidden, especially if it does it in such a way that it damages another person, should be excused on this basis. If there is mitigation in relation to any of these matters, no doubt that can be established in an appropriate case. But we do not think there should be an excuse in the way that has been put.

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