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Thursday, 10 May 1984
Page: 1902

Senator PETER RAE(11.12) — The position is this: Clause 5, which has been reinserted, contains the first four of the new definitions of exempt works. It does not contain what were originally the last two definitions, (e) and (f). The consequential matter which arises is in relation to the commencement date of the amendments made to the definition of exempt works by clause 5 as amended. Clause 2 (2) of the Bill attempts to include an element of retrospectivity for which there has been no justification and for which there could not conceivably be justification, unless the Government is adopting an attitude of taking the Parliament to be nothing more than a rubber stamp. The deletion of clause 2 (2) will mean that clause 2 (1) will remain. Clause 2 (1) provides for the Act to come into operation on the day on which it receives royal assent. There is no problem with that. That is the normal thing which would happen to legislation which is not made retrospective, or not made prospective to a particular date. In other words, it comes into operation on the day on which, in the normal course of events, it receives royal assent. We oppose retrospectivity being applied in a case where there is absolutely no justification for retrospectivity . As I understand it, that is what Senator Jack Evans was concerned about. I hope that what I have said clarifies the matter.