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Friday, 16 June 1989
Page: 4265


Senator BOLKUS (Minister for Consumer Affairs)(1.16) —in reply-The point that Senator Hill made this afternoon is one that was, as he said, made in the House of Representatives. In response to that the Government has made some concessions, as I think Senator Hill would acknowledge. Without reading the whole page in detail, page 8 of the second reading speech reflects basically the Government's position in that we have accommodated some of the principle involved. I quote from that part of the speech which is relevant to this point:

The spent convictions scheme itself will not, however, come into force until proclamation or, failing that, 12 months after royal assent. The privacy commissioner has indicated that he will be able to advertise for applications for exemption, consider any applications received and recommend any appropriate exemptions to the Minister to enable regulations to be made within the 12 month period. The Attorney-General has undertaken that the privacy commissioner will consult with opposition parties on proposed exemptions.

As I say, we have gone some way in accommodating part of the principle about which Senator Hill spoke. It should be stated, however, that there are conflicting interests, one of which is that the Senate insists continually that legislation should commence within six months of assent. That was very much in the forefront of the Government's mind also.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate.