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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 3798 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

The third point is the issue that Mr Osborne also suggested I ignore, and that is the role of the Australian Federal Police in the way they police both our Act and the Federal Act. Now, we do have a legal opinion. We recently obtained a legal opinion on this very matter, and, of course, as part of our response to the scrutiny of Bills committee's report, we will make that available. I quote from the report:

A critical issue is how the provisions of this Bill can be adjusted to the duties and functions of a member of the AFP.

We are dealing with this issue. In respect to the fourth point raised by the adviser to the committee, the report said:

This is, however, a point of some significance, and the matter might be clarified lest misunderstandings arise.

Yes, of course we will look at and clarify those issues. This is not, as Mr Osborne would have you believe, an incredibly damning report of incredibly inadequate legislation. On the contrary, it raises all the issues that we have been dealing with and wrestling with. This is a difficult piece of legislation. Nobody has argued for one minute that it is not a difficult piece of legislation, but these are not damning elements for the legislation at all. Rather, they require some consideration, some explanation and perhaps some minor modifications, none of which are particularly difficult to do.

What I am very pleased about is that the scrutiny of Bills committee is doing its job and is raising these issues with us. We will take them seriously, as we take every scrutiny of Bills committee report seriously, and we will then explain where it is that we have already got answers and where it is that we need to modify things and get our answers.

Finally, I would like to thank the committee for the work they are doing, and particularly for the advice of their legal adviser. But try to keep things in perspective. Try to draw the distinction between Mr Osborne's agenda - I understand that we have opposite stances on this - which is to say, "Woe, doom, the whole thing has gone", and what is actually there in the report which has raised some issues, many of which are already answered in the material that has been circulated to you. Thank you, Mr Speaker, and thank you, members, for the opportunity to make a comment.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition): I seek leave to make a short statement on the same matter, Mr Speaker.

Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE: I will make some short comments about the matters raised in the scrutiny of Bills committee's report and referred to by Mr Osborne in his statement and as responded to by Mr Moore. I tend to agree to a significant extent with Mr Moore and his analysis of the committee's report. Before declaring a position on the issues raised in the report, I look forward to the Government's response to each of these matters. I have to say, however, that I share in large measure the view expressed by Mr Moore that

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