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Wednesday, 7 February 2001
Page: 24156


Mr STEPHEN SMITH (9:58 AM) —The Communications and the Arts Legislation Amendment (Application of Criminal Code) Bill 2000 does precisely that which its title suggests. The bill amends various pieces of legislation within the communications and arts portfolio to reflect the application of the Criminal Code to all Commonwealth offences. The amendments are intended to ensure that chapter 2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 is applied to all Commonwealth criminal offences by December this year. This is occurring across all portfolios, and the approach which the government is taking to the application of chapter 2 of the Criminal Code is appropriate and should generally be supported. The government has stated that, subject to several minor exceptions noted in the explanatory memorandum, the bill does not affect the operation of current criminal offences; rather, it seeks to ensure that the current criminal offences are not altered following the application of the Criminal Code to the Commonwealth legislation to which I have previously referred. These items are part of an across-the-board portfolio effort. On that basis, they are supported by the opposition. They provide no difficulty from our perspective.