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Monday, 7 May 1984
Page: 1687

Senator ARCHER(10.05) —I too wish to express my surprise, disappointment and disapproval of the attempt to set up a contractual arrangement which is so naturally outside the normal contractual law. I do not see how it is possible to set up a reasonable working arrangement whereby one party can admit to fraud against the other. I do not see how we will be able to go along with the sort of proposition that says that one can be a little fraudulent in one's dealings and that one should be able to seek to take advantage of the person with whom one has a contractual relationship so long as one thinks one can get away with it.

I would like to know whether it is the intention of the Attorney-General ( Senator Gareth Evans) to write this sort of clause into all other legislation or whether this legislation has been singled out because the insurance companies look like being an easy milking cow. I find it so extraordinary that it is even contemplated that a proper legal working relationship can exist when such an arrangement and balance exists between the parties. I ask the Attorney-General to explain to us where this piece of new law which is attractive to him has come from, why he feels it is appropriate and why he feels it is necessary for the rest of the insurance industry to incur this obvious cost so that people who have fraudulent intent may be paid at the expense of others. Perhaps the Attorney will give us some advice on that.