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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3117

Mr BURR (Wilmot) -in reply-In closing the debate I want to thank my colleagues, the honourable member for Denison (Mr Hodgman) and the honourable member for Holt (Mr Yates), for the kind words they have expressed. I agree with the honourable member for Holt when he says that in some ways this is an historical Bill. It shows to the people of Australia that private members of parliament are able to bring forward matters into legislation and have that legislation accepted on the statute book. This is a proud day in the history of our Parliament and of our legislative procedures.

I thank the Opposition for its co-operation in this debate. I know that the honourable member for Melbourne (Mr Innes) and Senator Rae have conferred on several occasions in drawing up the details of this Bill. There has been close cooperation between the Opposition and Senator Rae on this matter. But I point out to the honourable member for Melbourne who claimed that this matter could, perhaps, have been corrected by administrative procedures within the Department itself that it was the advice of the AttorneyGeneral's Department that the confiscated equipment could not be returned to its rightful owner under the legislation as it is presently drafted. In order for the equipment to be returned to its rightful owner the Act had to be amended. That is the reason for the introduction of this Bill into the Parliament.

The honourable member for Melbourne made other suggestions to the Government that I am not qualified to answer. The only thing that I can say to the honourable member is that I am quite sure that the Minister for Post and Telecommunications (Mr Staley) is doing all within his power to ensure that there is a proper review of the Wireless Telegraph Act. I am quite sure that necessary amendments will be brought in by the Government at the appropriate time. I thank the Opposition for its co-operation in supporting this Bill. I thank the Government also for the support it has given to Senator Rae and me in allowing this Bill to be brought forward.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

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