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Tuesday, 13 May 1980
Page: 2110


Senator MESSNER (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Treasurer. Has the Minister's attention been drawn to a recent decision of the Full Court of the South Australian Supreme Court to the effect that a bank is not liable for negligence where a bank's own cheque has been stolen and fradulently used in exchange for goods? Has he noted the concern among businessmen at this decision since traditionally they have regarded such cheques as the equivalent of cash? Can the Minister perceive any flow-on effects arising from this decision which the Government should move to counter through amendment to the Banking Act or by other means?


Senator CARRICK - The question of whether the law needs alteration to take into account this decision is a difficult one. My understanding is that the matters would be covered not necessarily by the Banking Act as such but by legislation dealing with cheques and bills of exchange which more properly falls within the jurisdiction,

I think, of the Attorney-General. The Government has under consideration at the present time what action may be taken following the recent decision of the court. However, it may take some time before the Government is in a position to take a decision on the matter.







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