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Wednesday, 25 March 1987
Page: 1529

Mr N.A. Brown —As I was saying, we would expect the Minister to indicate in his reply at the conclusion of this debate that the Government will accept this amendment. Fourthly, the intention of the Government is clearly to apply this Bill to what are referred to as `designated groups'. To extend the operation of the legislation to those designated groups would give the Bill not only an excessively wide operation but also a vague and uncertain operation. `Designated groups' are defined as to have the same meaning as the Public Service Act 1922 and that Act enabled new and quite uncertain designated groups to be determined by regulation. That is a thoroughly undesirable way of legislating and we therefore foreshadow an amendment to change the definition of `designated groups' so that, although the bulk of the definition will come from the definition of `designated group' in the Public Service Act 1922, we would remove from that definition part (d), being:

. . . any other class of person declared by the regulations be a designated group for the purposes of this definition;

We would expect the Minister to indicate in his reply that the Government accepts this foreshadowed amendment. If it does not we will vote against the Bill. We also foreshadow other amendments relating to the reporting requirements of authorities to make them as near as practicable to the reporting requirements imposed by the 1986 Act on the private sector and on higher education institutions. Quite heavy-handed reporting requirements were imposed on the private sector and higher education institutions under the 1986 Act and there is no similarity between those reporting requirements imposed by that Act and the reporting requirements imposed on authorities by the present Bill.

In conclusion, I wish to make it plain that if the amendments I have referred to are made to make the Bill the equivalent of the 1986 Act, and if the Government indicates that it will not proceed with the Bill until it is subjected to the processes of the business regulation process announced on 9 January 1987, we will vote for such an amended Bill which has passed and satisfied the processes of the business regulations examinations. Indeed, we would have voted without any quibble for a Bill which was the equivalent of the 1986 Act and which was a genuine equal opportunity Bill based on merit and one that had been tested against the Government's own business regulation procedures and which had passed them. We must make it plain that we support genuine equal opportunity in employment and the removal of discriminations, as we supported them in 1986. We have supported them in the past; we continue to support them; and we will support them in the future. But this Bill in its present form goes far beyond that. I move:

That all words after `That' be omitted with a view to substituting the following words: `this House is of the opinion that the Bill not be proceeded with until it has been examined by the Business Regulation Review Unit in accordance with the procedures announced by the Government on 9 January 1987 for the review of government proposals affecting business regulation and until the Department of Employment and Industrial Relations prepares a Regulation Impact Statement on the proposals contained in the Bill'.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Is the amendment seconded?

Mr Spender —The amendment is seconded.

Debate (on motion by Mr Lindsay) adjourned.