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Wednesday, 23 April 1980
Page: 1780

Senator EVANS (Victoria) - I wish to raise a matter very briefly. I acknowledge that I have not heard the whole debate on this Bill and it may well be that this matter was canvassed in the course of the debate. The matter relates to clause 2 (2) of the Bill, which concerns the retrospective application of this legislation and its application in such a way as clearly to deny the rights at law of certain classes of people who otherwise would have an opportunity to challenge the terms of this legislation and who in fact did have such a challenge in train. I ask the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs (Senator Chaney) to indicate how it is that a government which in other contexts has been so passionate in defending the principle of non-restrospectivity is able to salve its conscience with this clause, which in fact extends the denial of rights of litigation in respect of this matter by virtue of that clause, which will give operation to this Bill all the way back to 26 January 1977.

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