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Wednesday, 21 November 1973
Page: 1974

Senator GREENWOOD (Victoria) - The Opposition does not oppose the motion but I take the opportunity which the motion affords me to invite the Attorney-General to indicate whether he will facilitate the debate when it occurs by presenting the views which have been obtained or are in the process of being obtained from the various State governments. I understand that a draft of this Bill was submitted to the States a week or two ago. Some States have not had the. opportunity to express views which they would like to express, but I would hope that when they are expressed that material will be available for the Senate's consideration. I say that because I would think it is highly relevant to the assessment of many of these provisions.

I notice that in his second reading speech the Attorney-General (Senator Murphy) stated that the legislation will be binding on Australian, State and local government officials and on State parliaments. That is a concept, I think, quite new in law in Australia apart from the provisions of the Constitution itself. Likewise I notice from what the Attorney-General said that a Human Rights Commissioner may apply to the Industrial Court and that Court may set aside a judgment which I assume means a judgment of the State courts. That again is a concept which is new in this country. They are matters upon which unquestionably many views will be expressed but I think it would be vital for a proper consideration to have the views of the various State governments and conceivably even the views of the State parliaments available for the ensuing debate.

Senator Webster - What about the staff who are beyond the Public Service?

Senator GREENWOOD - I have not appreciated sufficient of the content of the Bill to be able to respond to the comment which Senator Webster made. I invite the Attorney-General to give consideration to what I have suggested. I am sure it will in due course facilitate consideration which must be given to the matter.

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