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Thursday, 20 October 1983
Page: 1990

Mr LIONEL BOWEN (Minister for Trade) —Mr Deputy Speaker, may I have your indulgence to suggest that the House have a general debate covering the Freedom on Information Amendment Bill 1983, the Archives Bill 1983 and the Copyright Amendment Bill 1983, as they are associated measures? Separate questions will, of course, be put on each of the Bills at the conclusion of the debate.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. Les Johnson) —Is it the wish of the House to have a general debate covering the three measures?

Mr Lusher —Mr Deputy Speaker, can the Minister explain a little more to the House why he wants to have a cognate debate on these issues?

Mr LIONEL BOWEN —Yes, I should make some explanation. The position is that the Bills are of a cognate nature, but they have different backgrounds. The Freedom of Information Amendment Bill, of course, deals with access to information. This is of interest because an amendment will be moved by the Government in the light of what happened in the Senate. Senator Missen in the Senate moved an amendment to section 52F of the Freedom of Information Act. The amendment was too all- embracing and on that score we intend to circulate another amendment to reduce the terms of that amendment. I am happy to know that that amendment has been circulated. The other matters-that is, the Archives Bill and the Copyright Amendment Bill-are incidental to the Freedom of Information Amendment Bill. I would be grateful if the Opposition would allow these matters to proceed as suggested.

Mr Lusher —We understand. We thank the Minister for explaining the purpose of having a cognate debate.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Following the request of the Deputy Prime Minister and his response, I now ask: Is it the wish of the House to have a general debate covering the three measures? There being no objection, I will allow that course to be followed.