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Thursday, 12 September 1996
Page: 3390


Senator VANSTONE (Minister for Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs)(1.04 p.m.) —Senator Bolkus, I do have some information for you. I am advised that no current references are affected by the reductions. The Attorney-General (Mr Williams) has discussed these matters with the commission. It is agreed that the Commonwealth will maintain the viability of the commission.

There will be some reduction in workload in the future—that is, perhaps not as many references as might otherwise have been able to be taken on will be taken on—but no current references are affected. New references are in train. Recently it has been given a new reference in relation to the archives. I understand the Attorney-General has a further reference under consideration.

With respect to the remarks you have just made, the proposed legislation is in itself a demonstration of the government's commitment to having a viable law reform agency which is able to advise it on keeping Australia's laws up to date. I think that has been common ground between the major parties for some time.