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Wednesday, 8 December 1971
Page: 4326

Dr KLUGMAN (Prospect) - I would like to reply very quickly to the honourable member for Berowra (Mr Hughes), who is leaving us within a short time to go back to the Bar. I am here referring to the Bar of the State of New South Wales. I am not sure whether he is aware of the drug laws of the State, but the Labor Party is not specifically trying to get a person off on the question as to whether he has imported goods into Australia. We are arguing whether he should be prosecuted under State legislation or under Federal legislation. The honourable member for Berowra, when he resumes his practice at the Bar, may well prefer to appear in Federal jurisdiction. There may be higher fees in Federal jurisdiction than there are in State jurisdiction. I do not know what his reasons are for supporting the transfer of these cases to Federal jurisdiction, but let me make it quite clear that whatever substances a person may be prosecuted for under the legislation we are dealing with tonight he can already be prosecuted for, and there are the same penalties - in fact there are higher penalties - under State legislation. What we are arguing about is whether a person should be prosecuted under Federal legislation for the purpose of empire building in the Department of Customs and Excise, or maybe for the purpose of increased legal fees under Federal jurisdiction, or whether be should be prosecuted under State legis lation. Let me make it quite clear that they are the main points that the Labor Party is dealing with in this case.

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