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Wednesday, 7 March 2001
Page: 25411


Mr KELVIN THOMSON (6:16 PM) —The Environment and Heritage Legislation Amendment (Application of Criminal Code) Bill 2000 amends a number of pieces of legislation administered by the Department of the Environment and Heritage to reflect the application of the Criminal Code to all Commonwealth offences. These amendments are intended to ensure that, from 15 December this year when chapter 2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 is applied to pre-existing portfolio offence provisions, these provisions will continue to operate in the same manner that they operated previously. If legislation containing offence provisions were not amended, the Criminal Code might have altered the interpretation of existing offence provisions.

I have already given to the Main Committee the benefit of my understanding of the difference between strict liability and absolute liability. I do not think that members will profit from hearing it again. I have also had the benefit of information supplied to me by the member for Dunkley concerning the second reading contribution given by Senator Bolkus in another place. That was a very comprehensive contribution and covered the matters raised by this legislation in considerable detail. I have also had the benefit of a description of the various acts being amended from the parliamentary secretary and do not feel any need to repeat that either. So, having said those things, I will indicate to the House that the opposition supports this legislation.