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Monday, 4 September 1989
Page: 904


Senator TATE (Minister for Justice)(9.04) —I do not think I have anything new to add, except in relation to 7 (1) (h). If Senator Baume's intention was that, should the Commission come into possession lawfully of certain materials or information it ought to be aware of the sensitivities of Aboriginal persons or Torres Strait Islanders and ensure that no disclosure takes place if secrecy of an absolute kind is required by virtue of the nature of the material, then of course I utterly agree. I have asked the Clerks-maybe Senator Baume has also-to try to draft a clause to that effect, if that is his intention. I may say that I do not think his fear is well founded that the passage of 7 (1) (h) would derogate from those very particular and precise and express words which he inserted into the Institute Bill to ensure the secrecy of the collections of the Institute is maintained. Where there are words dealing expressly with the Institute and its obligations of secrecy, I do not believe a general clause such as this could override those particular secrecy provisions. But, as I say, if Senator Baume's intention is as Senator Coulter and I understand it now, a fall-back position admittedly on his part, and he wishes to exclude 7 (1) (h) in the vote en bloc to deal with that amendment, I would support it.