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Thursday, 15 August 1974
Page: 1007

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral) - We appreciate what has been put by Senator Greenwood. It is intended to be helpful to us because there may be problems. There is always the possibility that something might have been overlooked. On the other hand, this provision for exemption is of such a wide character. There is no doubt that a lot of people and a lot of commercial conduct will be affected by this legislation. That is the intention of it. There will be intense pressure by those who are affected by requiring them to refrain from the comfortable kind of practices in which they have been indulging. They will be exercising pressure upon everyone. Really, we think the legislation should stand as it is. If we strike any difficulties- I concede the possibility of that- then it will be better that the difficulties be overcome by coming back to Parliament rather than by way of exemption by regulation.

When moving his amendment Senator Greenwood indicated that it was a curious thing for the Opposition to do to offer such a capacity to remodel, in effect, by way of regulation . the whole of the impact of the legislation. It is a curious thing, and really in a sense it puts in jeopardy or puts in question virtually the whole of that Part of the legislation, because those who are affected will say: 'Well, here is an escape clause that enables anyone to escape from this if only we can prevail upon the Government to make some regulation'. We think that it would be better if such a question arises, for the matter to come back to the Parliament. I will admit that there certainly is some weight in what the Opposition is putting in relation to this issue. It is an argument of great convenience but on the whole such a provision would introduce an element of great uncertainty into this area. On balance, and after some consideration, the Government would prefer not to accept the offer that is being made to allow the basic provisions of the legislation to be undermined by a mere regulation.

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