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Thursday, 23 March 1972
Page: 861


Senator GREENWOOD (Victoria) (AttorneyGeneral) - I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill is to extend for 12 months the operation of the Australian Capital Territory Evidence (Temporary Provisions) Act 1971. Honourable senators will recall that, when the Evidence Ordinance 1971 of the Australian Capital Territory was disallowed by the Senate in August last year, the Australian Capital Territory Evidence (Temporary Provisions) Act 1971 was passed by the Parliament to prevent there being an hiatus in the law of evidence in the Australian Capital Territory. The legislation had the effect of enacting the Ordinance in statutory form but only until 31st March 1972 - the date decided by the Senate as being the date upon which the temporary provisions should cease to be in force.

I am sure that all honourable senators are aware that a Bill - the Evidence (Australian Capital Territory) Bill 1972 - was introduced on 24th February to provide for the law of evidence in this Territory. That Bill is still in Committee and there is now no possibility of it being passed before 31st March. Therefore it is necessary to extend the time for a period to enable the Evidence (Australian Capital Territory) Bill to be passed. The debate in Committee on that Bill has raised many issues of considerably complexity, and I think it is generally accepted by those senators who have interested themselves in the Bill that there would be benefit if those issues could be considered by the Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs. I have in mind moving a motion to the effect that the Evidence (Australian Capital Territory) Bill be referred to that Committee, which must be given adequate time to give proper consideration to that Bill. Therefore, the purpose of this Bill, which is now about to be read a second time, is to extend the operation of the temporary legislation until 31st March 1973.







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