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Thursday, 22 May 1969

Senator WOOD (Queensland) - Every speaker from whom we have heard in this debate is a member of the legal fraternity and those of us who have listened to the debate have heard a most interesting discussion on this ordinance. I do not propose to speak at any great length, but I think it is necessary to make a declaration on this ordinance. Some little time ago I had a discussion with a Mr Meagher of the legal fraternity of the Australian Capital Territory whom I regret to say I have heard passed away just a few hours ago. After discussing the matter with Mr Meagher I looked at the situation from a layman's point of view.

There were two aspects of the ordinance which impressed me. First of all, in the main the Government is trying to introduce here, by means of an ordinance, something that is operating only in my own State of Queensland and in New South Wales. People in the other States and in this Territory believe that there is no reason why the methods or ideas of those two States should be imposed on this Territory. There is apparently such a strong feeling against this ordinance among the people of the

Australian Capital Territory that I believe there is no reason why we should impose it upon them.

I know that the wish of the people should not be the beginning and end of everything. The basic consideration should always be whether something is right or wrong. But, after hearing the view that I heard from Mr Meagher and after hearing the debate in this chamber today, I do not feel that I can change my mind on this matter. I am strongly of the opinion that this ordinance should be disallowed. I will vote accordingly; that is, to help to disallow the ordinance. Let me say that in making this declaration and voting in this way I am not speaking or voting as Chairman of the Regulations and Ordinances Committee. This is purely my own decision. I want to make it quite clear that in no way do I implicate the other members of the Regulations and Ordinances Committee. That is how I feel about this matter. From the layman's point of view and looking at it simply, I believe that it would be better for this ordinance to be disallowed. It has been suggested that there will be a vacuum if the ordinance is disallowed. As Chairman of the Regulations and Ordinances Committee, which has been raising continually the matter of regulations being in arrears, I say that this is a very important matter and that there is no reason why the Attorney-General's Department and the Parliamentary Draftsman cannot get on with the job a little more quickly.

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