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Thursday, 28 November 1985
Page: 2496


Senator LEWIS(5.26) —I know that these matters are sometimes extremely difficult. I must admit that I was somewhat worried about the actual interpretation of proposed new sub-clause (9) of clause 119, when I saw the method that my draftsman had adopted. The third line of that proposed new sub-clause refers to a claim for a pension determined after15 May. I do not accept that this proposed new sub-clause sets aside all of those determinations irrevocably, because having deemed a claim not to have been determined it then deems it to have been made after the commencement of this Act. In effect, as I understand it, if a claim were made on, say, 16 May, all the proposed new sub-clause would mean would be that a determination should be deemed to have been made and then remade immediately after the commencement of this Act.

I do not see how that can mean that these 12,100 decisions will be set aside; all our proposal means is that they will be deemed to have been made immediately after the commencement of the Act. That would make perfectly clear that those determinations made since 15 May-I am interested that over 12,100 decisions favourable to people have been made since 15 May-should be made under this Act. I think that even the Minister accepts that this Act has to date back to 15 May. We do not want determinations up to 15 May 1985 to be made under one Act-an old Act-and then from 15 May to, say, 5 December to be made under some interregnum Act which just happened to be in operation until the new Act could come into force. If my proposed new sub-clause is wrong the Minister, who has all the advantages of being able to go to the office of the Attorney-General (Mr Lionel Bowen), could get it amended properly in the House of Representatives. He could then come back and explain to me why it was wrong. If I abandon it at this stage, I think we will be left in a position which is the worst of both worlds.