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Tuesday, 12 September 1972
Page: 686

Senator MURPHY - I wish to ask a further question of the Attorney-General on the subject of the amendments which were made early this year to the Trespass on Commonwealth Lands Ordinance. Will the Attorney-General now correct what he said to the Senate and admit in plain terms that the police purported to act-

Senator LAWRIE (QUEENSLAND) - I rise on a point of order. Mr President. You ruled a little while ago that this type of questioning should not be pursued.

The PRESIDENT - That is correct.

Senator LAWRIE (QUEENSLAND) - Will you enforce that ruling Mr President?

The PRESIDENT - Order! I wanted to hear what Senator Murphy was going to say before determining whether he was beginning to debate the matter in the form of a question. Until such time as 1 am able to come to that conclusion, I cannot do any more. But Senator Murphy should not anticipate that I will allow his question after he has asked it. I call Senator Murphy.

Senator MURPHY - Particularly, if I may add, Mr President, as it was suggested by the Attorney-General that 1 have in some way misrepresented a judgment.

The PRESIDENT - If you claim to have been misrepresented, Senator Murphy, I shall give you an opportunity at the conclusion of question time to state the grounds on which you have been misrepresented.

Senator MURPHY - I ask the AttorneyGeneral: Now that he has read the judgment of the Court will he, as the chief law officer of the Commonwealth, not admit - 1 do not ask him to give a legal opinion; I ask him to admit - that Mr Justice Fox of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory has ruled that when the Ordinance was purported to have been notified this was not done in accordance with the provisions of the Act and therefore the Ordinance was not operative at the time the police purported to act under 't or at the time of the hearing before the Court: and that in the judgment of the other judges of the Court the notice which was given was defective and the Ordinance had not taken effect? Is not the consequence of the Court's judgment that the Government's failure to act in accordance with the Act in question may have affected other legislation vital to the proper administration of this Territory and other Territories?

The PRESIDENT - Order! The AttorneyGeneral may or may not answer that question, as his inclination directs.

Senator GREENWOOD - Mr President, I feel that we could go on ad nauseum in the way in which Senator Murphy is broaching these matters. I read the key part of the judgment in response to his earlier question. Tt is a fact, to come to the first part of his last question, that the Supreme Court has ruled that the Ordinance is inoperative but not invalid. The Court refused the injunction of the persons who took this action claiming relief. That was the point I made before. That is the complete answer to the initial point which Senator Murphy raised.

The PRESIDENT - Order! Senator Greenwood, I have just received information which indicates to me that the series of questions without notice on this subject have another relationship altogether. You may conclude your answer. Senator Green wood, and then I shall absolutely, finally and definitively refused to allow any further question on this subject. Will you conclude your answer, Senator Greenwood?

Senator GREENWOOD - Yes, Mr President. All I wish to say, simply, is that the matter of examining regulations and ordinances which may be effected by this decision will be looked at, as 1 indicated to Senator Cavanagh in answer to his question. The balance of what Senator Murphy said has been covered by the answer I gave earlier.

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