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Thursday, 17 December 1992
Page: 5449


Senator TATE (Minister for Justice) (11.47 p.m.) —As to the first point, it is probably theoretically true or practically true that the compensation level will be such that the discriminatory aspect of it is minimised, rather than if it were a large quantum of compensation that were granted. If that is Senator Coulter's point, I suppose I can agree.

  As to the second point, there has been so much legislation going through that perhaps I am not as alert as I ought to be and I have forgotten the actual thread of the argument. Those who are presently held in custody or detention have been held in custody or detention lawfully. The High Court has confirmed that since the passage of the legislation in May.

  Our dealing with those who may be said to have been held unlawfully up to that point in the way that is suggested in this Bill, does not really have an impact on or any relation to the Government's decision or good or bad faith in continuing to detain people under the current provisions. I am not sure that I have completely understood Senator Coulter's point and if he wants to reiterate it, I am happy to try to respond.