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Tuesday, 26 November 1985
Page: 2287


Senator VIGOR(9.16) —I have three simple questions; one relating to the area of class actions, the second relating to the proposed small claims and residential tenancies tribunal in the Australian Capital Territory and the third relating to the Freedom of Information Act. In February 1977 the Australian Law Reform Commission received references on standing and class actions. Is there any indication when the final report from this reference will be ready? Why are such delays occurring when annual reports for each of the past few years have said that the final document was imminent. Does the Government intend to continue waiting for the report from the Law Reform Commission before developing policies in this area? In 1980-these matters relate to one another-a working party suggested that small claims and residential tenancies tribunals be established in the Australian Capital Territory. Some time ago there was a report of a draft ordinance making its way through the bureaucratic system. Can the Minister inform us when the working party's suggestions are likely to be acted upon? Why is it that Australian Capital Territory matters always seem to take so long to settle?

My last question is: In the light of the nearly half of the requests for internal revenue under the freedom of information legislation are at least in part successful, and a fair proportion of matters that are taken to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal are also successful, does the Government intend to require agencies to break down their freedom of information costs into three categories; first instance, internal revenue and Administrative Appeal Tribunal-so that their performance and especially their compliance with the spirit of the freedom of information legislation can be measured by both the public and by the Parliament?