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Wednesday, 13 September 1972
Page: 1332

Mr ENDERBY (Australian Capital Territory) - The evidence mounts and the evidence accumulates as to the price we are paying for the haste - the illconsidered haste - that surrounds all of this little exercise. The rushing through of this ordinance last night and its attempted gazettal at half past 12 or 1 o'clock, whenever it was in the early hours of this morning, have just been confirmed again by the Minister's belated attempt to say:

Well here is something' - a piece of mumbo-jumbo it will appear to future legal historians - 'that is to clear up a doubt that even the Government on reflection has discovered.' Clause 1a - it is not clause 2 or clause 3, it is clause 1a - is a provision, to fit in somewhere between clauses 1 and 2. It reads:

Where there have been 2 or more publications in the Gazette of forms of words being, purporting to be, or apparently intended to be, notices or notifications of a kind referred to in the last preceding subsection in relation to the same Ordinance, regulations, rules, by-laws or instrument, that subsection applies only in relation to the earlier or earliest of those publications.

Lawyers will wonder what that means. I do not think there is any opposition to the amendment. It is a tragedy that it is necessary because it would be nice to think that we could be moving in the direction of a coherent, sensible, readable system of laws. But while this Government persists in its attempts to make laws in this matter and races ahead with something at 1 o'clock in the morning will we continually be asked to accept something like this just to clear things up? I pose that question.

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