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Tuesday, 27 November 1973
Page: 2159

Senator WRIGHT (Tasmania) -I want to refer to 4 clauses of the Bill so that the record will contain their provisions, the types of which are completely unacceptable. Clause 19 of the Bill reads:

(   1 ) Subject to this Pan and the regulations, the provisions of the laws, whether written or unwritten, for the time being in force in the Australian Capital Territory, and of any instrument having effect under any of those laws, and of any award, order or determination of an industrial authority for the time being in force in that Territory, apply, as provided by this section, in the ofT-shore zone and so apply as if that zone were part of that Territory.

(2)   A law shall be taken to be a law in force in the Australian Capital Territory notwithstanding that that law applies to pan only of that Territory.

Clause 19(6), which I think is the last known survivor that I have seen in the last 10 years of the Henry VIII clause, states:

The regulations may provide that, with respect to the whole or a pan of the off-shore zone, any of the provisions referred to in sub-section ( 1 )-

That is to say, the written or unwritten laws of the Australian Capital Territory-

(a)   do not apply; or

(b)   apply-

(i)   subject to the regulations; or

(ii)   with such modifications as are specified in the regulations.

Clause 23 states:

(   1 ) The Minister may, by instrument in writing, delegate to an officer of the Public Service of the Commonwealth, either generally or otherwise as provided in the instrument of delegation, all or any of his powers or functions under this Pan, the Royalty Act or the regulations, except this power of delegation.

Clause 74 states:

(1)   The Minister may, by instrument in writing served on a person, give to that person a direction as to any matter with 1 respect to which regulations may be made under section 112.

My copy of the Bill has no section 1 12 but I am prepared to assume that this means 'section 111'. The clause continues:

(2)   A direction under sub-section (1) has effect and shall be complied with notwithstanding anything in the regulations and, to the extent to which the regulations are inconsistent with the direction, the person to whom the direction is given is not obliged to comply with the regulations.

The penalty for that is $2,000- no more. Clause 75 calmly states:

(   1 ) Where a person does not comply with a direction given to him under this Pan, the Minister may do all or any of the things required by the direction to be done.

(2)   Costs and expenses incurred by the Minister under subsection ( 1 ) in relation to a direction are a debt due to the Commonwealth by the person to whom the direction was given and are recoverable in a court of competent jurisdiction.

So far as I can find there would be no right there to dispute anything but the quantum of the debt. The other provisions which I have read into the record speak for themselves and I submit are their own condemnation. As expressed the provisions are so contrary to principles on which we have insisted as to the proper use of regulations that the whole scheme as indicated by the sections I have read and in the context of what Senator Greenwood has said is so unspeakable that I do not think that the Senate should accept it. Certainly not when we are calmly contemplating a Bill of Rights.

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