Senate debates

Monday, 22 September 2014

Bills

Omnibus Repeal Day (Autumn 2014) Bill 2014; In Committee

6:01 pm

Photo of Nick XenophonNick Xenophon (SA, Independent) Share this | Hansard source

I do not quite follow what the minister said a moment ago. Is the minister saying that ACMA will now have more resources to deal with matters as a result of these amendments? It seems to me that these amendments effectively mean that ACMA, if it does not have the resources, can more easily say, 'We cannot investigate this matter because we don't have the resources and we don't have a statutory obligation to do so.' My specific question to the minister, which I ask respectfully again, is: does the minister concede that, in respect of these proposed changes to the legislation, the discretion for the Commonwealth Ombudsman to be involved under his or her statutory power is being circumscribed by virtue of these changes? In other words, the circumstances in which the Commonwealth Ombudsman can undertake an investigation within his jurisdiction is now being restricted to some degree as a result of these changes—yes or no?

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