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Tuesday, 16 February 1971
Page: 33

Sir ALAN HULME (Petrie) (PostmasterGeneral and Vice-President of the Executive Council) - I appreciate the comments made by the honourable member for Newcastle (Mr Charles Jones). I would be the last person to wipe a proposal for which I believe consideration is justified. I am pleased that the honourable member did not move an off the cuff amendment because it may have been very difficult to accede to it. But I assure him that I will look at the proposal and consult my legal advisers about it. At some future time 1 may be able to indicate to him quite clearly whether we are able to carry out his suggestion or whether the Government feels there are reasons why it should reject it. lt should be appreciated that we in the Department believe we do the maximum possible so that people can avoid prosecution. We send a notice of renewal before the inspectors go into an area. We undertake publicity through newspapers and by radio. I think this gives fair notice to people that they,, should check whether their licence is due for renewal. But this is not what the honourable member was referring to.

The honourable member was speaking about those people who accept that it is overdue and that it has to be paid. One would have to consider the fine to be imposed because in some cases the licence has not been paid for 3 or 4 years. Of course, this represents a substantial amount of money to many people in the community. If they had to meet the cost of a licence from the time of the expiry dale they would have to pay $20 a year for 3 or 4 years plus a fine. This would be fairly costly. We would have to look at the question of allowing time in which to pay. But I will have a look at the proposal which has been made and, if possible, incorporate it in a future amendment to this Act.

Amendment to proposed new clause negatived.

Proposed new clause agreed to.

Title agreed to.

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