House debates

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Statement by the Speaker

Home Affairs Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2018

3:52 pm

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | Hansard source

As I said, I have an important statement I wish to make to the House for the information of honourable members and, as always, I ask that members listen to the statement I'm going to make and that they listen to it in its entirely.

I have received correspondence from the Attorney-General, dated 10 February, and an attached opinion from the Solicitor-General, dated 7 February, relating to the Senate's amendments to the Home Affairs Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2018. The Senate message relating to this bill is to be reported after the matter of public importance, which is why I'm giving this initial statement now, for reasons that will become obvious.

I have determined that I will table the correspondence from the Attorney for the information of honourable members. When I table that correspondence at the conclusion of my statement, members will see that the Attorney-General in his letter to me states that the opinion he attached to his correspondence from the Solicitor-General is provided to me on a confidential basis, and, to quote the Attorney-General, 'I would appreciate you not circulating it further.'

I have advised the Attorney-General that, as Speaker, it's important I ensure in this instance all material available to me is also available to all members of the House. As a consequence, I've also decided to table the Solicitor-General's opinion. Copies of the tabled documents will now be available on the end of the table.


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