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Wednesday, 9 November 2016
Page: 2275

Senator McKIM (Tasmania) (11:07): Again, thank you to the Attorney for that explanation. I just want to go back to Senator Leyonhjelm's proposed amendment and make it clear that, as a matter of principle, the Greens would support sunset clauses on this type of legislation, which I think we can all agree does in fact compromise fundamental civil liberties in our country. We can have discussions about whether the balance is right or not, and we have made our views clear on that during the second reading debate on this bill.

However, as I said, we have an in-principle position that sunset clauses on legislation such as this are not only reasonable but in fact necessary. I will observe, of course, that a sunset clause does not bind or prevent a future parliament, or this current parliament, from revisiting matters if there is a desire to do that and either abolish or extend sunset clauses. However, we take on board the advice given to the house by the Attorney that some of the provisions of this legislation are in fact already sunsetted by virtue of previous legislation passed by the Senate, so that does offer us the comfort in this case that there are currently sunset provisions around certain parts of this legislation which seek to amend acts which already have sunset provisions within them. Nevertheless, I thank Senator Leyonhjelm for giving us the opportunity to speak about these matters.