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Wednesday, 11 September 1996
Page: 3296

Senator TAMBLING (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Regional Development)(4.21 p.m.) —I would like to indicate that the government is strongly opposed to this amendment. The proposed amendments seek to override judicial rulings of standing by removing any limitations on who can bring proceedings under the bill and the Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act. Normally, to bring an action for judicial review against a decision, a person must be aggrieved by that decision. The courts have taken a liberal view of persons aggrieved by a decision but have not cast the net so widely as to include every member of the public.

Under the proposed amendment, any person could challenge a decision about any airport covered by the bill, whether adversely affected or not. Whilst Senator Margetts openly admits that it is something she would like to put in other legislation, I do not believe it is consistent with the principles that have been enunciated. It is not in the interests of the wider community, and therefore the amendment ought not to be supported.