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Tuesday, 30 May 1972
Page: 2237

The PRESIDENT - Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

Senator WOOD - This notice of motion relates to the Norfolk Island Spear Guns Control Ordinance 1971. The Regulations and Ordinances Committee was concerned with sections 5(b) and 8(l.)(c) of the ordinance which, in conjunction, provided that a person was required to give an inspector information relating to an offence or suspected offence against the ordinance where the inspector believed, on reasonable ground, that the person possessed such information, and failing to give information or giving false or misleading information in such a ease constituted an offence. The Committee regarded these provisions as a violation of the normal civil liberties of the citizen. A person is not normally required, for example, to give information to a police officer, even when arrested. This right to refrain from answering questions is an important safeguard for accused or suspected persons and ought not to be taken away by delegated legislation. After discussions with the Committee, the Minister for External Territories (Mr Peacock) agreed that these sections should be repealed, and he has assured the Committee that steps will be taken to have this done. I wish to record the Committee's appreciation of the courtesy and cooperation extended by the Minister and the Norfolk Island Council in relation to this matter. Accordingly, I withdraw Business of the Senate Notice of Motion No. I standing in my name.

Senator Murphy - Today being the last day for resolving the matter, I seek leave to make a statement, Mr President.

The PRESIDENT - Do you wish to make a statement in connection with the matter raised by Senator Wood?

Senator Murphy - Yes.

The PRESIDENT - Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

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