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Thursday, 15 August 1974
Page: 1016

Senator WRIGHT (Tasmania) - I shall only take a minute of the Committee's time. The answer put before us by the Attorney-General is completely pretentious and fallacious. He does not tell us who are the people who have been consulted and are satisfied. Therefore what he has said to us is simply nonsense from the point of view of our giving consideration to it. The other matter 1 want to mention is related to the language that is used in the amendment. It states that if the court is satisfied that a person has contravened a provision of the Act, then he is liable to pay Australia such pecuniary penalty not exceeding $50,000 in the case of a person and not exceeding $250,000 in the case of a body corporate. That is still a process for the recovery of a penalty, and it is quite indistinguishable from penalties recoverable by criminal process. Most criminal process gives the alternatives of payment of a pecuniary penalty or imprisonment. The mere fact that there is no alternative to imprisonment here does not alter the nature of the recovery which is of a penalty. I would have thought the strictest standard of proof would be required.

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