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Wednesday, 30 May 1984
Page: 2143

Senator CHANEY —My question is addressed to the Attorney-General. It arises from the appropriately self-mocking reply that he gave to the question by Senator Hamer. I must congratulate the Attorney on, for the first time since I have known him, finding an appropriate target to mock. I ask the Attorney: Is the draft Bill of Rights which he is proclaiming in the Government's propaganda publication available for the purpose of the consultations which he has talked about? If it is available, to whom is it available-is it available to the public , the media and the Opposition-and who in fact is he consulting on the Bill of Rights at this stage?

Senator GARETH EVANS —The draft Bill in its present form has been made available to all State Attorneys-General on a confidential basis to seek their reactions on it as to the implications that they might care to draw my attention to concerning State law, given the way it is drafted at the moment. It is also proposed to make it available, if that has not already been done, to the Law Council of Australia, in particular to seek its reaction to the jurisdictional and technical aspects of it. It is proposed that further consultations of this kind take place over the next few months. Whether that will be in the context of some form of exposure draft of the Bill being made fully public is a matter to which I and the Government will give further consideration in due course.