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Wednesday, 26 June 1996
Page: 2289

Senator CHAMARETTE(5.59 p.m.) —Could I apologise for adding a red herring to the debate. I thank the minister for clarifying the point. I have clarified with my office that in the past we have had that understanding, and I momentarily lost the plot of it.

I do not think the argument, nevertheless, needs to be dismissed for that reason. It would be good to get the support on amendments 2, 5 and 6 with the recognition that we are throwing around imprisonment penalties. While I do not necessarily agree with fines as the ideal means, at some point we have to address the hard question of why we so readily imprison people or threaten them with imprisonment when we ought to be seeking other more preferable means that do not damage society as much.