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Wednesday, 24 February 1971


Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Opposition does not object to these amendmentswhich have been moved by the Government at this late stage of the passage of this legislation In the course of my speech on the second readingI said that I had certain misgivings about this type of legislation and that I felt that it should be tightened up considerably. I said then that I would be moving an amendment, as I intend to do shortly on behalf of the Opposition, to enable a citizen of the Commonwealth who might have been convicted for not having had a wireless or television licence to have the conviction set aside at any time on the ground that he had not been properly served with the summons. In the course of my remarks 1 instanced a number of examples that I thought of at the time to show that individuals could be severely penalised without justification, lt appears to me that the 3 amendments that the Minister for Housing (Senator Dame Annabelle Rankin) has moved on behalf of the Government tighten considerably the rights of an individual so far as public benefit is concerned. It is interesting to note in the Minister's second reading speech that apparently this type of legislation is being enacted because - this was one of the reasons stated - the Victorian Chief Secretary's Department has advised the Commonwealth that no longer will the Victorian Government be responsible for the serving of summonses on behalf of the Commonwealth in respect of these matters.


Senator Greenwood - Why single out Victoria? Victoria is not the only State which has expressed this view.


Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - If the honourable senator looks at the Minister's second reading speech he will see that there is particular reference to that Slate.


Senator Greenwood - I know, but it refers to the police in other States also. The honourable senator is quite entitled to refer to Victoria, but I do not think he should single out Victoria as though it were the only one.


Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Senator Greenwood is very touchy about a statement in a second reading speech by a Minister of the Government he supports. It was emphasised by the Minister that the Victorian Chief Secretary's Department had advised the Commonwealth that it would not engage in serving summonses on behalf of the Commonwealth in respect of this matter. Therefore the Commonwealth has moved to tighten up this legislation to effect service of a summons by way of registered post. But, as I have said, it is obvious that at this late hour the Government has had second thoughts about the legislation and in some respects is tightening it up with respect to the rights and liberty of the subject. On that basis we of the Opposition do not object to the 3 amendments which have been moved by the Minister on behalf of the Postmaster-General (Sir Alan Hulme).







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