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Constitutional Recognition Relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
Matters relating to constitutional change

BECKETT, Mr Simeon, Member, Indigenous Issues Committee, Australian Bar Association

BOULTEN, Mr Phillip, Chair, Indigenous Issues Committee, Australian Bar Association

PHILLIPS, Ms Susan, Member, Indigenous Issues Committee, Australian Bar Association

Evidence was taken via teleconference—

CHAIR: I welcome members from the Australian Bar Association. Thank you for making yourselves available, even though it's by way of telephone. We know how busy you are. We look forward to your contribution. Although the committee does not require you to give evidence under oath, I should advise you that this hearing is a legal proceeding of the parliament and therefore has the same standing as proceedings of the respective houses. The giving of false or misleading evidence is a serious matter and may be regarded as a contempt of parliament. The evidence given today will be recorded by Hansard and attracts parliamentary privilege. I now invite one or all of you to make a brief opening statement if you wish to.

Mr Boulten : Thank you, Senator. We're very honoured to have been asked to contribute to the work of the committee this afternoon. The Australian Bar Association is the peak body of bars in Australia. Each bar, normally through its president, is represented on the Bar Council. We therefore represent something like 6,000 barristers in Australia. Our committee has considered the issues that are before your select committee and made recommendations to the ABA Council. The ABA Council unanimously agreed to support in principle the Uluru statement, particularly the call for a voice in the Constitution. The ABA regards this as a historic opportunity for Australia to recognise the importance and the centrality of First Nations people in our nation, and it provides an important way by which the nation can recognise the First Nations peoples and the fact that they've been here in our country, or what is now our country, for millennia before British colonisation. It's time to remedy the fact that there is no formal recognition in the Constitution of our first peoples.

We acknowledge that the Uluru statement is derived from a very thorough and convincing process of consultation. We regard the results of the Uluru process as authoritative and a clear statement of intention of First Nations peoples, and we regard what they have said as a necessary precondition for the work of the parliament and to continue with this process towards, eventually, a referendum proposal. We support the principle of a First Nations voice for a range of reasons that we've set out in our submission. We regard the voice as proposed as a conservative approach operating within the current constitutional structure, not against the structure. We regard the process that is to continue as one that requires close dialogue between the parliament on the one hand and First Nations peoples on the other.

We are firmly of the view that the joint select committee can benefit from the assistance of lawyers in the process as it unfolds in the future—the near future and the intermediate term. Lawyers are available to provide assistance on technical issues. You've already heard from one of our members this morning, and there are plenty that have expertise on issues that are of centrality in this process. The ABA wishes to play a constructive role in supporting the very important work that this current dialogue is continuing and to support the Referendum Council in whatever way we can.

I know that there are likely to be particular issues you wish to take up with us, so I'll leave that as our opening statement.

CHAIR: Thank you very much for that, and thank you for the offer of lawyers that could assist this particular committee. There are no doubt a range of legal issues, as there are political issues, that we need to traverse if we're going to go forward. So we'd sincerely appreciate that help.

The questions we're tasked with, as you may be aware from looking at our terms of reference, are to look at the past recommendations to the parliament from the 2012 expert panel that dealt with the race powers and the notion of a proposed nondiscrimination head of power but also the parliamentary work that was done by previous joint house committees and the recommendations the Referendum Council itself has made, as well as the matters you've highlighted that have come from Uluru and the Statement from the Heart. We're also taking on board a term of reference that looks at the effectiveness of consultation that is happening today within the existing frameworks and whether that's leading to greater levels of autonomy for First Nations peoples and whether that's assisting to create greater levels of economic viability or sustainability. There are a range of matters in that, and we won't cover all the factors that go with it. We've been tending to focus a bit on the Indigenous voice and the questions around a set of words that would meet the kind of aspiration that's embedded in the Uluru statement and also a set of words that may go towards the enacting of legislation that could set up a makarrata commission, as well as, ultimately, an Indigenous voice—not that they'll in any way be concluded, but certainly to get some indication of what they might look like or what needs to be taken on board. Obviously, far greater consultations with First Nations people need to take place in the refinement of any of that.

I will just make it clear that we do have a broad-ranging set of terms that go beyond the notion of an Indigenous voice, but the Indigenous voice is obviously an important one, so we'll start there. The significance of entrenching the Indigenous voice is something that we've had some discussions about. What would be required of a government to actually enact legislation if there were to be a successful referendum on the notion of entrenching an Indigenous voice in the Constitution?

Mr Boulten : If there were an Indigenous voice, it would depend very much, of course, on the model of what the Indigenous voice proved to be. But, as we understand the discussion up until now, parliament would basically be unfettered, except that they would be required to consider what the Indigenous voice puts forward for consideration. I'd imagine that there would be a statutory provision, as well as a constitutional provision, which says that it's necessary, for a particular range of bills, that there be a requirement that there be consultation with the voice group or that the voice group's recommendations or their opinion about various legislation must be heard. We can see that it could be done by a range of mechanisms. It depends very much on what the parliament and the consultees come up with, but it could be in the form of a committee which is a committee of parliament but not just comprising members of parliament and senators. It could be something which is completely outside of parliament but which is reporting to parliament in a formal manner, in a manner which requires the tabling of opinions. I've seen a suggested form of words for a constitutional amendment that has been drafted by Professor Twomey where the amendment would establish a body which advises parliament and which the parliament must consider when they are passing legislation. But otherwise the process of lawmaking would remain as it is.

Mr Beckett : Can I just add to that. Like Phil and Susan, I've also had recourse to see Professor Twomey's draft section 60A of the Constitution. One of the options there—just developing what she has proposed—is that there need not be clauses (3) and (4) to that particular definition of what the voice is. That is to say, it could just be that the Constitution include the fact that there should be a First Nations voice which provides advice to parliament and the executive on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and that the parliament is given the power to make laws with respect to that. A full stop could be applied there. Professor Twomey seems to have gone on in paragraphs (3) and (4) to suggest that a copy of any such advice be tabled in parliament and that the House of Reps and the Senate be required to give consideration to that advice. In terms of complying with what came from Uluru in the statement, the voice could simply comprise, as I've suggested, (1) and (2), without going as far as (3) and (4). But of course (3) and (4) do lock in a particular process by which that advice is, firstly, tabled and, secondly, considered by parliament.

Ms Phillips : We are aware of the concern amongst our Indigenous colleagues that the Constitution contains, for example, measures such as the interstate commission that end up being inactive provisions in the Constitution. So we are aware of the concern that people have that the form of the amendment proposed and the form of the voice to be provided should be one that is both active and activated. We are aware of that concern.

CHAIR: We had Professor Twomey here just before and she made a clarifying point in relation to, I think, (3) and (4) of her draft. She said that, in her view, it was proposed legislation. We raised the question of whether this would create an obligation on the parliament to do what was required and, therefore, there would be some legal ramifications as a consequence. She said that this was only in relation to proposed legislation and that there is some case law in relation to that. Is that your understanding?

Mr Boulten : I'm not in a position to be able to talk authoritatively, especially to question or cast doubt on what Professor Twomey says—but perhaps one of my colleagues might have a view.

Mr Beckett : I think we're all in the same position.

Ms Phillips : We’re in furious agreement!

CHAIR: One of your other lawyers somewhere might want to take up that point at some stage. I'm not casting doubt upon it. I'm not a lawyer at all, let alone a constitutional expert, but it was a clarifying point as to the lack of obligation because legislation was being proposed as opposed to it being enacted. So the obligation on parliament or the non-justiciability question seems to arise only once legislation is passed but not in the process of it being determined. It may be an issue that you might want to look at and get someone to give us some clear advice about it at some stage. It would be highly appreciated.

Mr Beckett : We're happy to take that on notice.

CHAIR: The other question is the nature of the words that go towards setting up the Indigenous voice and whether it's a positive instruction—that is, 'There shall be a voice' or 'There should be a voice' or 'There could be a voice'. These terms seem to be fairly relevant as to whether there is any onus at all on the parliament to respond to what the head of power might be expressed as in order to legislate an Indigenous voice into existence.

Mr Boulten : To give any real meaning to the expressions that have come from the referendum council on this issue, there would need to be some prescription: 'There shall be a voice'—not just 'There ought to be,' or 'There might be,' or 'There could be a voice'. 'There should be a voice' or 'There shall be a voice' ought to be the sorts of words that appear in the terms of the Constitution. I'm expressing my personal opinion, but that's the way I see it heading if the parliament is to give effect to the heart of what's being proposed from Uluru.

CHAIR: The question then is: does that require the parliament to do anything? Leave aside the moral imperative—that if Australians voted in favour of such a referendum there may be a whole welling-up of moral sense—but, in terms of the strict legal question, would there be any legal obligation on the parliament to actually enact what was prescribed under the referendum?

Mr Beckett : Again, we're not constitutional lawyers, but I would have thought that that was straightforward, yes. As to what you're doing by saying, 'There shall be such a body,' it does place an obligation upon the legislature to create such a body.

Mr Boulten : Even the parliament is bound by the Constitution. If parliament refuses to enact a body that's required and directed to be established by the terms of the Constitution, then they're in no different position than anybody.

Ms Phillips : Simeon and I are here still in Old Parliament House in day 2 of the conference convened by the ANU, and we're aware of some of the concerns being expressed by delegates as to the establishment of the voice through legislation, and then adoption, through referendum, of the model that has been established legislatively, and that it becomes a less controversial step. I think that the consideration in terms of the process to achieve the voice is obviously legal but also political, and that those questions of making it mandatory that the voice exist will, in part, rely on the context within which it is created and that the legal drafting is only part of the picture that will lead to achievement of the voice, and this chicken-and-egg conversation, which is one that we participated in today—and I think you were present for some of those considerations yesterday—will obviously inform the drafting of what ends up being put to a referendum. Those, in a sense, aren't questions for us to answer, but certainly to provide comment on or evaluation of, if asked.

CHAIR: Yes, but just for me to get clear: are you speaking to the attempt to legislate the entity into existence being something that's done prior to the determination of what the question would be that would go to a referendum?

Ms Phillips : Well, I recognise that there are a number of schools of thought, and one is: go to a referendum on a very simple proposition and provide the detail afterwards, once the imprimatur is there to do so. Another school of thought is: develop the model; be very clear about what it contains, after significant consultation with First Nations peoples; and then have a vote on something that is basically adopted in principle, or even in practice, by First Nations peoples.

Mr Boulten : To be frank, Senator, the ABA is a body which has done well to get to the point where we are, to have consensus to say what we're saying today. We have not descended to this degree of detail yet. It's our statement today that we're prepared to provide expertise and insight, whether it be the 'amend the Constitution first' route or the 'work out the detail first' route. We all have our own personal opinions about that, but we are not in a position to state the ABA's position about it.

CHAIR: That's fine. I understand that, and I understand it's complex and there are differing political views as to what should come first, what should come second or even whether a combination of the processes is even entertained. So I can appreciate that. I was just trying to get some clarity. The imperative given to us is that it has to be entrenched before you could move to contemplate legislation, and there are obviously other views about that. We're just trying to investigate that a bit.

Mr Boulten : Once the constitutional amendment's there, there's no option to opt out. It's got to be done. But there's no impediment, of course, to going first to create a body that will be the model that would be enacted eventually. But that's a political decision and a decision that needs to be made in close consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

CHAIR: Yes. Has the association had a chance to think of the proposal for a Makarrata commission?

Mr Boulten : Apart from thinking it's a great idea, we haven't got the meat on the bones. What do you say, Simeon?

Mr Beckett : I was going to say the same thing. The focus for our submission is very much on the voice and not to take up those two additional issues about Makarrata and truth telling, although it's been clear—I should say that this is not on behalf of the ABA but is just my experience of this conference—that the three are intertwined to varying degrees. There's certainly benefit in pursuing those other two aims at the same time as the voice. I'm not saying that the voice should be held back while those matters are sorted out, but an integrated approach to responding to all three aspects of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, I think, would be advantageous, particularly to First Nations people.

Mr LEESER: I want to take you to paragraph 34 of your submission, in which you looked at different structures that the voice could be performed by: a statutory authority established by the parliament, a corporate entity separately incorporated and independent of government but subject to normal regulatory requirements, or a parliamentary committee. I'll leave aside the reserved seats proposition, because I'm not sure that it has any support. I haven't heard of it having any support in particular. But I wondered if you'd just explain what you see as the pros and cons of those other three entities in terms of the establishment of the voice.

Mr Beckett : Most of the focus of the discussion to date, I think, has been about a statutory authority. Certainly if Professor Twomey's amendment of the Constitution is the one that goes forward then there is an obligation placed upon the parliament to enact a statutory authority that would perform that function. Obviously, you as parliamentarians would know much better than we would about the longevity of such authorities. They are vulnerable, obviously, to a change of government and a change of policy, and that seems to be one of the complaints that are repeated—that organisations which are established by one parliament are repealed or defunded by the next parliament. Obviously a statutory authority does give you a degree of longevity and also becomes part of the organisational structure of government in Australia.

Mr LEESER: What can it do that the other two models can't?

Mr Boulten : It can be more representative. I would imagine it would be much more complex and unprecedented for there to be general elections or any sort of election or some sort of representative sample—whatever might be the mechanism for appointing people. It would be much more difficult to do that for a parliamentary committee than for a statutory authority. Just taking the ATSIC model as an example of a statutory authority, we've got a history, and people understand how it worked. Whether it had good, bad or indifferent outcomes, at least we know what it was. Getting people who are not parliamentarians, not senators, to be members of a parliamentary committee, especially if it's through some sort of representative election or selection process that's devolved, especially if devolved to districts, areas or territories, seems a bit clunky and probably would set up some sort of tension with parliament, as it happens.

Mr LEESER: What about the corporate entity model? Do you want to explain that?

Mr Beckett : Yes. That's something that I don't think has been explored. It certainly doesn't seem to have been explored at this conference. I think a corporate entity would have greater independence than a statutory authority, in the sense that the corporate entity could determine its own constitution and how people came to be members of that constitution. If one thinks about corporate entities which comprise various different shareholders, Virgin Australia might be a good example, where you have, I think, two Chinese companies, who own substantial shares; Singapore Airlines; and then a number of institutional investors in Australia—all of whom nominate directors to sit on that particular board. That's the sort of corporate model that could be explored.

Mr LEESER: In a government sense, a corporate model would be, say, NBN Co. Is that a fair example of a corporate model in a government sense?

Mr Beckett : I don't know enough about the NBN, so I'll have to defer to you.

Mr Boulten : Maybe the ABC.

Mr LEESER: Is the ABC a corporation, as opposed to a statutory authority?

Mr Boulten : I don't know.

Mr LEESER: I suppose what I'm trying to get from you—you made these suggestions—is what the difference is. What are the pros and cons we should consider, if any?

Mr Beckett : I think the primary matter is in terms of control. There's a greater degree of control for First Nations if it's a corporate entity as opposed to a statutory authority, where First Nations would have to go to government if they wanted the constitution of the organisation to change. So it's about control. But, as we all know, corporate entities that are separate from government, subject to the Corporations Act, are clunky: does that mean that individual nations have to have shares in the company, and that a certain number of shares then entitles you to appoint a director that sits on the governing body? So it's not without hairs—that is to say there are some problems with a corporate entity. But, if the primary driver is independence from government, then there's an available model that could be used by First Nations which would make it separate from government but, of course, subject to all the regulatory requirements that a normal corporation would have.

Mr LEESER: So, if I were to summarise, you think that a corporate entity would be better, and a statutory authority would be your second preference; and you think there'd be some issues with a parliamentary committee because these people wouldn't necessarily be parliamentarians.

Mr Beckett : I'm sure Phil will take this up, but I don't think we're proffering any of those, and we're certainly not providing a preference for one over another. We're just suggesting that there are a number of available vehicles that might be used, and that, really, it's a matter for First Nations if they're the ones that are seeking representation. If they're seeking representation as the voice to parliament, then one would think that they might have a very strong feeling about one model over another. Susan's just given me a note saying the Torres Strait Regional Authority, of course, is a particular model that may be of interest to the committee—one that's of quite long standing.

Mr LEESER: Is that incorporated or is it a statutory authority?

Mr Beckett : It's a statutory authority.

Mr Boulten : We all have our own personal views. Personally I favour a statutory authority, even though it's much more a mechanism of government. But it would need to be of a variety that properly reflected representative notions. There would need to be some mechanism that made it authoritative in the communities where this counts. It's where the process of election selection is of real importance.

CHAIR: One of the challenges we're faced with is what the purpose of this voice would be and what difference it would make at the local level when people there are confronted by state laws, whether they're sentencing laws or policy positions that go towards children being taken into out-of-care homes, mandatory sentencing, provision of other sorts of services, health, housing and conviction. What will this voice do that will help to relieve the practical pressures that people are confronted with on a day-to-day basis? How, by having the voice to a federal parliament, is that going to do anything different?

Ms Phillips : With a background of 25 years working in native title, I think there's a good example to be found of the difference that the voice would make in our work. In not one instance of the work that I have done across the country has a Commonwealth or state party adopted a position which shows that the rights of Aboriginal peoples were the rights of its citizens that it was charged to respect and recognise. This is very graphically set out by Justice Jagot in her decision in Western Bundjalung People v Attorney General of New South Wales. The reference to that is 2017 Federal Court of Australia 992. Her Honour spends 21 pages of analysis on the conduct of the state government in what became a negotiation by consent and recognition by consent of native title. The point of referring to this is that it shows that the state government regarded the recognition of native title as being inimical to public rights, as being other than the rights of the public that it was charged to protect as a model litigant. In doing this work, I've had a consistent experience of government parties seeing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as other than their citizens as well. They see keeping native title rights and interests to the smallest possible compass as somehow a state responsibility.

Using that as an example of a practical effect, it seems to me that the voice to the parliament has the capacity to be advisory, to be analytical, to be critical, to speculate with some freedom, to test what the parliament intends or even to advise conduct or the outcome of legislation is not properly responsive to Indigenous Australians as citizens, as part of the policy. It's this other-than-the-norm treatment that I don't need to tell you about, but I just refer you to Her Honour in that context as an example of where a practical difference could occur because the voice would address some of this behaviour by government which always sets Aboriginal people apart from the normal citizens.

It has quite an extraordinary effect in native title, for example, when we're constantly trying to negotiate by consent with the government parties' objective to keep the outcome as meagre as possible. I suggest that that's a coalface at which we would see a difference.

Mr Boulton : My thinking on this conundrum that you've raised is what it would be like if we don't have this voice. All of the problems that are state based problems will still exist. The problems that have been obvious for a long time concerning Commonwealth interventions in communities will go without any substantive critical analysis. Would there have been a Commonwealth intervention in the Northern Territory if there were a voice? Would there be a real impact on child protection if there were a voice? Would there be a real impact on the delivery of health services if there were a voice? I don't think you can say there wouldn't be, simply because some of these responsibilities are state responsibilities, especially in the Northern Territory. Once the Commonwealth parliament sets parameters for performance on issues concerning health, justice, housing and native title, for instance, there is a model for other jurisdictions to follow. Although this may not be capable of direct and lasting impact on state and territory parliaments, this is not really a reason to jettison this concept.

CHAIR: I wasn't proposing it be jettisoned. What I am trying to measure is how you do have peak organisations that allegedly are there to represent First Nations interest to the federal parliament in health, the legal services, native title and whatever else. If they're representing First Nations to the federal parliament now with their levels of expertise and they're still not getting the outcomes in the domains that they have the expertise in, what guarantee would there be that a voice is going to have any greater capacity to deliver an outcome that people with expertise in these fields are not getting now?

Mr Boulton : A requirement would be to listen, to consult and to have regard to what's being said, and then the responsibility falls on the legislators.

CHAIR: That's what they do now. That's what happens in the parliament now. There's currently an inquiry into native title, for instance. There's an inquiry into the Law Reform Commission reports. The parliament will proceed to enact legislation on the basis of some form of consultation it's had with First Nations.

Mr Boulton : The difference is that, if this is a truly representative voice, it's quite different from a law reform commissioner or an inquirer expressing a view. This is a view of the people. This is a view of the community. This is a real say in what legislation gets passed and what shape it takes. It's not to be scoffed at, not to be belittled.

CHAIR: With all due respect, it won't have any veto capacity over the parliament. It's meant to be advisory, and its advice is not justiciable, so the closest impression we're getting of what it might do is be in the preliminary stages of legislation being developed and table reports as to the nature of the advice provided to the minister relevant to the particular piece of legislation. That doesn't give people an effective say, because then the parliament takes over and deals with the legislation, and there are amendments and all sorts of other things that happen. If there's no interface beyond just the tabling of a report then I don't see how that gives people a real say.

Mr Beckett : I think there are a couple of aspects that I wanted to address. The first is the width of the role of the voice, and the second is the representation. On the width of the role, I note that in Professor Twomey's suggested amendments there is a role advising the executive, not just the legislature, with respect to laws and matters that impact upon Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. While there might be some firm entrenchment in terms of a role by which the advice provided by the voice is tabled in parliament, that doesn't exclude an additional role advising the executive about either policy being developed or policy that should be developed to address some of those issues. There's a degree of formality about that which is currently done on a relatively informal basis—mainly consultations that occur with peak bodies.

The second thing I want to say is about representation. What has come out of this conference—and it is certainly not something the ABA has ventured into it all—is that there are ways in which representation through the voice could be a proper conduit of First Nations authority, traditional authority, for example, and there are a number of ways in which that representation might go. For example, in those areas, if you are organising recently, there might be a number of prescribed bodies corporate that dominate in that area and provide an easy and available structure that gives traditional authority to the opinion of that particular region, which would then flow through to the voice. In other areas where there are fewer or no determinations of native title other organisations might be able to fill that particular role.

Senator, you have been talking about the difference from consulting peak bodies. Well, a lot of those peak bodies—not including, for example, the northern and central land councils, which have obligations to represent traditional owners—where the degree of representation is either narrow or representative of people who work in that organisation, perhaps through a community council—I am thinking about an aboriginal legal service or an Aboriginal medical service, for example—don't have the same degree of traditional support authority for the work they do. That is a long answer for saying that the representation could be better. When I say that it could be better, that is based on an opinion that has been put at this conference about how traditional authority and the way in which people are represented could be improved on the way the process works at the moment.

Ms Phillips : I would add two points to Simeon's observations. There are two other characteristics that would distinguish a voice from, for example, the peak organisations. One element is its independence from both the parliament itself and the parts that would make it up. So it could provide independent advice. The second element is that when you speak of the peak organisations, with their level of expertise, they are often required to compromise in order to attract the resources they require to do their work. They are beholden in some respects to their sources of funding. Often they are very indifferently resourced. Some of them have some independence through independent means. But these things, in some respects, affect the position they can take on an issue. And what I think is contemplated in the voice is that it would have a capacity to independently put things to the parliament and not be required by the exigencies of its day-to-day concerns to compromise in order to attract the resources that it would need for continuity. So I would just add those two observations as characteristics of the voice.

CHAIR: So you would see the model for the voice and the funding of it as not being reliant upon public sector outlays?

Ms Phillips : No, it would be. And that is one of the problems that the congress has had. Of course, there are a number of issues there but erratic funding has really affected their capacity to carry out all the things that it sought to achieve when it was formed. I am certain that those who seek the establishment of a voice would regard it as essential that it be properly supported and funded to carry out its work.

CHAIR: As we have seen in the past with voices to the parliament—the NAC, the ATSIC or some other incarnation—if governments don't like what the advice is, after a while they get tired of it and they get rid of them. Even if there is a statutory requirement set up for the voice—if there was a successful referendum, in the first flourishes of enthusiasm and euphoria everything would be sweet and smelling of roses—what is to stop a future parliament from saying, 'We don't like the advice and we don't like the way you are behaving, so we'll just get rid of you'?

Mr Boulten : Any such move would be unconstitutional. If it was in the Constitution that there had to be this body and its functions are prescribed by the terms of the Constitution then parliament would be breaching the Constitution if they did that. It would be like abolishing the High Court.

CHAIR: They could just starve it of resources—leave it there and let it rot on the vine.

Mr Boulten : It's possible, isn't it?

CHAIR: Anything's possible in this world. That's why we are asking the questions. I'm not sure one parliament can be bound by another. There may well be a whole range of legal questions around all of that that would be useful for us to understand as well. The general understanding is that the parliament is sovereign unto itself; it will do what it wants to do within the confines of the Constitution. But there is no obligation to do things that the Constitution might ask of it.

Mr Boulten : We will take all the questions you have posed to us three this afternoon, give them careful consideration and do our best to shed some light on these important questions in the future.

CHAIR: I thank you for that. I appreciate the fact that you can't speak for all your members. We are not trying to lock you into a position, but we do have to do some testing of the waters in order to demonstrate the rigour of our inquiries. So I appreciate your responses. Thank you for the submission, the goodwill with which you have come to the table and the offer of further support. If there are any further submissions that you wish to get to us, could you do that by 16 July. We have to provide an interim report by the end of July and finalise our work in November. There will be ongoing work after the interim report comes out. So we are not trying to get all the details settled, but we are raising questions in relation to some of them. A copy of the transcript will be available to you. If there is anything in the transcript that you feel incorrectly records what you had to say, please get in touch with us. Again, I thank you for your presence and your time today.