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Thursday, 19 September 1974
Page: 1246

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral and Minister for Customs and Excise) - I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Service and Execution of Process Act 1901-1973 to express distances referred to in the Act in terms of kilometres rather than miles. The change arises of course out of the metric conversion program. Under section 5 of the Act every writ of summons to which an appearance is required to be entered by the party to whom it is addressed must contain a notice requiring that party to show on his appearance an address for service of documents within 5 miles of the office of the court out of which the summons is issued. Section 9 of the Act makes a similar requirement in respect of appearances entered by or on behalf of a defendant to a writ of summons served under the Act.

In accordance with the requirements of the metric conversion program it is necessary to remove these references to miles and insert appropriate distances expressed in kilometres. It has been decided to provide in sections 5 and 9 of the Act for distances of 10 kilometres in each case, this being a conveniently rounded figure. The amendments made by the Bill are, by clause 4, to apply to any writ of summons issued after the commencement of the Act and to any appearance entered after that time, including an appearance to a writ of summons issued before that commencement. The Act would of course commence on the 28th day after it receives the royal assent. As 10 kilometres is a slightly greater distance than 5 miles the change has the effect of allowing parties to summonses served and appearances entered under the Act a greater radius within which an address for service must be shown. I have given my colleagues the AttorneysGeneral of the States and the legal profession generally notice of the proposed amendment so that parties affected by the change may be aware of what is intended. The amendments set out in the Schedule to the Bill are of a purely formal nature, for the purpose of applying current drafting practices to the provisions of the principal Act. Mr President, I commend the Bill to the Senate.

Debate (on motion by Senator Greenwood) adjourned.

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