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Tuesday, 16 February 1971
Page: 31

Sir ALAN HULME (Petrie) (PostmasterGeneral) - The Government is not prepared to accept the amendment which the honourable member for Lang (Mr Stewart) has moved. I understand that under the State Acts where service of summons by post is approved the time specified for an appeal against conviction is about 3 months. The honourable member raised a point which related particularly to a person going overseas. Very few people who go overseas do not sign a power of attorney appointing people who would have full responsibility for their affairs and who in the normal course would receive all their correspondence and therefore have a substantial chance of knowing what had taken place in relation to such a matter as this. Another important factor is that the Opposition says: 'Let us not have a limit of 2 years. Let us have no limit at all.'

If a person of 20 years of age were prosecuted he could have the right to appeal until he was 70 or until he died. Where would the court records be? Where would the departmental records be? There would be a hopeless situation if the amendment moved by the honourable member for Lang were accepted. Compared with State legislation on a similar matter 1 feel that the Government is being generous in allowing a 2-year period. For that reason I indicate that we will not accept the. amendment.

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