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Wednesday, 11 September 1996
Page: 3245

Senator KERNOT (Leader of the Australian Democrats)(12.14 p.m.) —I would like to revisit this issue, reminding myself what I said last time. We will be voting for the Greens amendments 3, 6 and 7, but we make the distinction with amendments 4 and 5 in the degree of the offence. Amendments 4 and 5 deal with, as I understand it, giving false and misleading statements on guarantees and loans, which is very different from one of the others which seeks to send somebody to gaol for simply telling somebody they could vote in an election when they could not, when they were not entitled to.

There is a huge difference between the degree of offence there, but we are applying a similar penalty. I think that is inappropriate. Anyway, I agree with the principle that, wherever we can, we should use imprisonment as a last resort. We will take Senator Margetts's amendments first and then we will take Senator Collins's amendments; is that right?

Senator Bob Collins —Yes.

The CHAIRMAN —Is it the wish of the committee that we proceed with amendments 3, 6 and 7? There being no objection, it is so ordered.

Amendments agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN —The question is that amendments 4 and 5 be agreed to.

Amendments negatived.

Amendments (by Senator Bob Collins)—by leave—agreed to:

Schedule 1, item 50, page 27 (line 25), at the end of the penalty, add "or 100 penalty units".

Schedule 1, item 52, page 28 (line 3), at the end of subsection (3), add "or 10 penalty units".