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Wednesday, 29 September 1993
Page: 1447

Senator BOLKUS (Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (6.55 p.m.) —Like all legislation, it is tested for legality as it goes through the Office of Parliamentary Counsel. We believe there is absolutely no problem with the legality of the pledge. Senator Short mentioned that he had received oral advice. Even when one gets written advice from lawyers, one could get all sorts of bodgie advice.

  I am satisfied that the process that the government has of ensuring that the legality of its provisions is tested as they go through the Attorney-General's Department and the Office of Parliamentary Counsel is sufficient to ensure that this pledge is legal. Senator Short has not spelt out the thesis on which this advice is based, but it would be a curious one.